Thursday, April 29, 2010

Quote of the Day...

I read this beautiful quote yesterday and loooved I thought I'd share it with you!

''The happiest of people don't necessarily
have the best of everything;
They just make the most of everything
they have.''

Have a beautiful day,

Renters Masquerading as Homeowners

I feel totally humbled and honored today. As I was reading one of my favorite blogs, The Lettered Cottage, I realized half-way down that Layla (the Author) was writing this post in response to a comment I had posted on a previous post of hers. (The only reason I didn't realize this in the beginning is because I was reading it backwards, starting in the middle...going down...then finishing at the top. Does anybody else do this besides me? Anyone??? An ADD moment for sure). So say the and my teeny, tiny blog felt totally blessed & uplifted. :-)

Anywho...go check out her suggestions...they are TERRRR-I-FIC! It certainly is encouraging as a renter to hear that there really ARE possibilities to make our home reflect more of our style & personality while we are still renting. Makes the time tick just a little bit faster.

Thank you, Layla! You're a charm and your ideas and blog are infectious. ;-)



Monday, April 26, 2010

Wood & Field Strawberries

I made a discovery last week as I was
working in my flower garden...

They're called "Wood Strawberries".
They're virtually tasteless..but
are perfectly safe to eat.

In some parts of France they are considered a
delicacy. Because of how tender & delicate their flesh is
when ripe, they must be eaten within a day...thus making
it impossible to transport.

I chose to eat mine drowned in milk
with a little sugar & nutmeg.


I plan on using the rest of the strawberries
that ripen in green salads to add a bit of color & fiber.
They will hardly be noticed in flavor...(though
some varieties are sweeter)...but will be a
delightful addition nonetheless!


In other strawberry news...
my strawberry plant that I potted
a couple of years ago has made been
dramatically evolving this week.

From this.... this.

Matthew & I shared these few berries together
and savored their delicious, sweet-tangy flavor.

These dainty little gals should
be ready in a week or two.

Aren't their little "sun hats" sweet?

What fun discovery have you made lately???




Lately I've been inspired by simplicity. Maybe it has to do with the book that I just finished reading about a woman who went through WWII...or maybe I've always been the kind of girl that gravitates back to simpler times. When I read stories about people who have gone through really tough times...times of famine and oppression...or times of extreme poverty and meager, simple surroundings...there's something in me that wishes I had gone through something like that, too. Does anybody else feel like that? I wonder what my survival instincts would have been like...and how I would have faced each day.

In high school I had to write a research paper on any topic of my choice. I chose to write about the Amish people because of their simple approach to life. And while I don't agree with all that the Amish believe....I think that they, and groups like them might share a secret that America at large has yet to discover:

*Make use of what you have (re-purpose, restore, refurbish, use up)
*Take care of what you do have (family, house, yard, belongings)
*Grow something on your own
*Enjoy people & relationships...instead of always needing to be "entertained"
*Enjoy the simple things in life

I think I'm happiest when life is simple and I'm enjoying even the most basic things: sunshine, flowers, smiles, hugs, seeing things grow and delicious food. Does anybody feel like life is too hectic these days? I know I do. My life is so cluttered by things and junk mail and just plain busy-ness! I relish in the days where I have absolutely nothing to do but wash the laundry, clean the house, cook dinner, and spend time with the people I love.

Today was one of those days. Matthew had already gone to the office by the time I woke up, so I had the entire day to myself to do whatever I needed (or wanted) to do. So I washed the laundry...made the bed...straightened the house...cleaned the kitchen...enjoyed the sunshine on my patio...and breathed in the fresh, warm air. Ahhh....delightful.

I also managed to fix a delicious lunch for me & baby. In the spirit of wanting to use up things I had on hand, I fixed some cucumber sandwiches on whole wheat bread and re-heated some yummy vegetable soup I had made the night before using home-made chicken broth I saved & froze from when I had cooked a whole chicken.

Mmmm...mmm. Me & baby were both happy. :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oven-Roasted Rosemary Potatoes, Recycled

I don't usually make a big breakfast that much during the middle of the week....and by big I mean more than one component. During the week breaking the fast usually consists of cereal...a bowl of fruit...or a fresh smoothie.

Well today was different. {I like different}.

Last night I made this delicious oven-roasted rosemary potato recipe. (See my cousin's blog here for the recipe) and decided that with all those yummy left-overs...I'd put them to good use this morning and recycle them as hash brown. Good idea, eh? Okay, I know it wasn't an original idea...but since I forget to do this sort of thing a lot.....I was proud of myself. :-)

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, whole grain toast with homemade strawberry preserves (made last Summer. See here), and rosemary potatoes-turned breakfast hash browns.


To make them a little different I added a little creole Cajun seasoning to give them some ZING! It helped to spice them up a bit.

What's YOUR favorite way to recycle a leftover?

Have a beautiful & delicious Tuesday!



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Got Calcium?

I've been reading the following book....

....and its been so helpful! If you are pregnant and do not have this book, I would HIGHLY recommend it. It's a keeper. It answers every single imaginable question or concern you could think of, and has been the source of much relief to worries I have had. Love it. Oh, and if you're expecting to expect soon, it's for you too! {I know you're out there somewhere, ahem}. ;)

I also have been enjoying reading pregnancy of which my doctor gave me a subscription to called "As Your Baby Grows" by American Baby. My nurse gave me my first mag at my first appointment...and I think I've already read it cover to cover, and some articles twice. :) Yep, I'm a newbie. I love the part about what my baby is developing each week, and what it's tiny body looks like at this stage. So amazing.

Well anyways, to the point of this post. The other night when I was {again} on one of my reading escapades, I read an article on nutrition that got me to thinking. Am I getting enough calcium in my diet? I supposedly need to be eating a lot more than I currently am...

I should be getting 1,000 mg of calcium every day. That equates to a little over 3- 8 oz. glasses of milk each day. Ouch. I'm not a milk drinker unless it's with cookies or in cereal. I don't dislike it, but I don't really like it solo that much, either.

What to do? What to do?

I know this dilemma might sound silly to you....but people....from here on out I was on a mission! Baby wanted calcium! I already knew that green vegetables like spinach and broccoli are calcium packed, but the chance of me eating lots of broccoli and spinach each day is slim to none. Sorry. I'm just being real. That's for dinner....on the side.

What a yummy mid-day snack. :)

Okay no.

When I was visiting my sister, Grace, in Corpus Christi last week (she is 7 mo. pregnant) she gave me lots of good ideas on how to get calcium into my diet without having to down the three glasses. Thank you so much, Gracie!

I had lots of fun going to the grocery the other day to pick out foods that both baby and me will like.

Here's what I came home with:

The perfect way to start my day: Simply Orange
juice fortified with calcium. It's pure, it's natural, and
it's 100% juice. DEE-lightful.

I was in love with this yogurt the first time
I laid lips on it. It has 8 active live cultures
and is all natural. So yummy.

Of course, cheese. Especially good as an afternoon snack
with crackers. Makes my tummy happy, too.

Grace introduced me to this: Silk's Pure Almond milk.
It's made from almonds so it has a slightly nutty-sweet flavor.
Really, really good! Thanks, Gracie.

How do you get your calcium the best? Want to share any secrets with me? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Post me a comment and you'll make my day.

Happy, healthy days ahead!



Soup for 2, please.

Today was one of those days....

Matthew had felt all the signs of a bad cold coming on yesterday, and today, it was apparent:

He was sick.

I promise I'll spare you the details. Pinky promise.

He slept in, trying to battle it off. And where was I?

Taking snapshots in-between feeling pretty awful myself, only I was sick in an entirely different way....

But what should I expect? ;-) Oh the joys of pregnancy!

As Matt lie in bed and I worked through my M.S., I decided the time-tried prescription for this sort of thing was just what we both needed....

There's just something about chicken noodle soup and toast that soothes the belly and the soul.

I don't know about Matt, but I'm feeling much, much better. ;)


To healthy throats and healthy babies! Enjoy the rest of your Thursday. :)



Monday, April 5, 2010

Eat Your Fruit

With pregnancy nausea and food aversions in full swing, I've had to be careful with what passes through my lips. What once was tasty and tempting could now be nauseating and a no-no! For some odd reason (which I cannot explain other than weird pregnancy hormones) I have had a really strong disconnect with meat. Thankfully not all meats, but unfortunately, most of the healthier meats that I once loved (chicken, fish, lamb) are now making my head spin and my stomach churn! I tried grilling some chicken last week for a Caesar salad but found out half-way through that I had no desire to eat my beautifully prepared lunch. I had to wait at least a half hour before I could stomach it down. :( No fun.

The good news is, I've been falling in love with fruit! I've always loved fruit, but where once I might have considered making waffles and eggs for breakfast, I now gravitate towards a bowl of delicious, ripe fruit!

Here's what my breakfast looked like this morning:

Sliced bananas and strawberries with plump blackberries and raspberries! I love the tangy-sweet flavors they make when combined. YUM.

Aren't these fuzzy little raspberries mouth-watering? I think so. ;) They make the most delicate little crunch when you bite down.

Something I learned last week about eating fruit is that you need to eat it by itself (and wait a half hour or so before eating anything else) to be able to obtain the best nutritional results. Fruit digests faster than other foods, so if you eat fruit, say, right after you eat a piece of toast, it will get stuck where the bread is trying to digest and turn to acid and start to rot, making it harder to digest the bread and not maximizing the fruit's ability to aide in your body's health. All fruit is alkaline when digested by itself, which helps to fight off free radicals and prevent disease. So, if you can help it (and I know that we can't all the time) eat your fruit solo. It'll do your body good and you'll be thanking yourself later. For more information about this, read this article: Eating Fruit.

Have a beautiful & healthy Monday!



Easter Celebration

I hope each of you had a very blessed Easter yesterday! Here are some pics of this past week leading up to Easter:

My friend, Katie Joy, and I visited the Dallas Arboretum!
These pictures don't do it justice, cause it was absolutely
breathtaking! (more on this in a later post)

Beautiful ornamental peach tree

~Easter Decor at our House~

Every year growing up we would make a
"resurrection scene" inside of a pan using
sticks, rocks, dirt and flowers to remember the
death of Christ and celebrate His resurrection.
Here is my very simple display using
a pie pan, smooth stones and wooden sticks.

I made a Spring wreath for the front door using
blown eggs (some painted, some plain) ribbon,
craft grass, and satin material. I think it turned
out pretty well! ;)

It was hard to get the speckles on the eggs to look authentic,
but I think they look alright, considering the difficulty
I went through..ha!

My Easter egg tree. I filled half of the slots with
green and yellow eggs and the other slots I placed
my white egg cups with peach geranium blossoms
peeking out. Such pretty little flowers.

My green bunny dish. So cute
and vintage-looking. ;)

~Celebrating Passover~

Every year our family gets together the Thursday
before Easter to observe and consider the death and burial
of Jesus Christ. This year was no different and my Mother
made this beautiful (and delicious!) strawberry cake to
add a sweet ending to our very sweet and special
time together.

My sister Greta holding my sweetest little
nephew, Levi. I think he's still trying to figure out
what to do when someone says "smile!"
Such a cutie!

Hubby Matthew, in all his
bearded glory. Ha!

Beautiful flowers for a beautiful table setting.

~Easter Sunday~

Me and the hubby ;)

Happy Easter!