Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chipotle...Simple, Unique...Delicious!

Oh Chipotle, how you make me so happy!
Mono and I went out for a nice lunch yesterday... my choice. He more than willingly went! :) We love Chipotle! So fresh and yummy!

Even the cups and napkins make me smile!
 Oh, the anticipation!
 The first bite is always sooo amazing! Sometimes my mouth is on fire after a few bites, but that is what...
 Ice cold sweet tea is for! :) I love the simplicity, yet uniqueness of these cups. And they are not all the same (neither are the brown bags).
 Oh, YUMM.
 Mine (always with a cover and straw) and Mono's (never with a cover or a straw)! *story about this after...

 This name just makes me smile!
*Story about the covered and non-covered cups.

A conversation after leaving Chipotle:

Me: I want to be more unique.

Mono: Just be yourself, Mare. That's unique.

Me: But I am kinda boring.

Mono: No, not boring, just... proper.  

Me: Okay, so then what do I do?

Mono: You need to be more adventurous.

Me: Okay, so like drinking from a cup without a cap? ;) (looking at him for his reaction)

Mono: (smiling) No Mare, a little more adventurous than that!

Whenever I am out, I always use a lid and straw! My lid was broken and wasn't fitting on my cup, yet I kept trying to put it on each time it popped off... if only I was just a little bit more adventurous! ;)

A Sunday Stroll

It has been such a beautiful day today, and while the sun was low in the sky, but before dark, Mono and I decided to take a little stroll. My camera tagged along and I snapped some pictures. I absolutely love it when the sun is low in the sky, and the light just makes everything glow!

 Do pine cones remind you of Fall or Christmas? I am thinking they are more Christmasy! :)
 This is a freshly picked sweet potato field. Yummm!
 Don't you just love how the light hits these soft fuzzies?

 I looovvveeee bails of hay!

 This little birdie is me according to Mono. :) Don't you just love her? She looks so sweet and content up there. If only I had a better zoom lens!

 Ah-mazing color! This is their real color!
 I love berries! These are perfect fall berries, just like holly berries are perfect for Christmas!

 Have you ever heard of kudzu? It's ALL over and takes over everything!

We had such a nice little walk! I cannot believe tomorrow is November first. Once November rolls around, the holidays are right around the corner! :) I don't want the Fall to pass by us too quickly though.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Smiles and Love...A Whole Lot Of Love!

The people in this video are all some of my very favorite people in the entire world! I am so blessed to have each and every one of them in my life. They all mean something special to me and I love them dearly! We have such a great time together. Fun memories are always made. This if from our last time when we were all together.

Red Blood? No... Blue!

Blue Bloods! I have a new favorite show to add to my list! There is a weekly show on Friday nights called, "Blue Bloods," that I absolutely love! I'm a cop's daughter. I grew up surrounded by cops, so I cannot help but love anything to do with it! Not all cop shows pass my test though. Sometimes they are too much, too political, too gory, etc... But this one, this one is good! I love how they live their Catholic Faith and it is part of their daily lives. It's not common to bring Faith into prime time television, so this is quite refreshing. Family is a main theme in the show and that too is refreshing... wholesome family. So you have Faith, Family, Cops and now tonight, the deal was made final for me... they served cupcakes at dinner! Love, love, love the show!  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Oh The Worries…

Do you worry? I do. I worry a lot actually. I have big worries and real tiny ones too. I try to do my best everyday to make everyone happy, and most of all, God happy. I know I fall short of this very often; I am sure each and every day. A lot of this comes from worrying. Am I doing what they want? Am I doing what He wants of me? I talked too much in that conversation. I should have said this. I shouldn't have said that. And the biggie… What If? This reminds me of the quote from "Letters to Juliet." "What and If are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: What if? What if? What if?"

I worry about the future and what God has planned. I know He will take care of me better than I could have ever imagined or hoped for, but I still worry. I know this, but I don't know how to let it sink in for me to remember and live…. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart. 
~ Jeremiah 29:11-13

Do you have any tips to not worry? To give it all to God and let Him do His best for you? I'll let you know if I figure something out. Until then, I guess the worries keep coming to visit me. Do you suppose all the worries are just trying to be my friend?

Two Things That Bug Me…

Would you like to know two things that bug me all too frequently? One thing is when I am either trying to fall asleep at the end of the day or can't sleep during the night and I am thinking of recipes and how to design and create things, but am too tired to get up and turn the lights on to write things down. I don't want to forget them, and frazzle myself thinking about them and trying to remember them until I am so frazzled I eventually fall asleep. I really don't like this. Any tips on how to cure this little problem of mine?

The second thing is when I am out driving and I see something I desperately want to capture with my camera and can't because I am the one driving and can't really pull over or am in need of getting somewhere by a certain time, or by chance happen to not have my camera with me. It's rare that I don't have my camera with me though. For example, today I was driving to stop in town really quick (mistake with this back issue going on) and the sunlight against a real fall sky, hitting these wild yellow and green weeds in the fields was simply amazing! I did not have my camera and my back was pulled out enough that even if I did, I really wouldn't have been able to get out to do much of anything. I wanted to capture it so badly though. It's something that happens a lot. One thing that I have always been enamored by is the beauty of the sky. God paints us such gorgeous skies each day!

So those are two things that are always seeming to creep up into my life and bug me. They are like little gnats of life! What things bug you frequently? What do you do about it?

Let's make this three things that bug me… times like this when I can't fall asleep! I can't sleep, thus this blog entry! Let's see how many entries I can come up with before I am so sleepy that I fall asleep at the computer! ;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Few Things I'd Like To Be Doing Right About Now....

Okay, so my mood for blogging is slowly creeping back. After as many hours as I have spent on a couch, the desire to do anything is creeping back! I hope this pain doesn't last too long so I can get back up on my feet and get some fun things done...and of course the things that have to get done.

Right now I'd like to do a little sewing. I have been wanting to make a cover for my camera strap, and that's pretty easy to do, so that's high on the list of things to do... maybe even before I completely get better. I also want to make a little tote bag, for every day things. I always shove so much into my purse, like my camera, planner and a little bag of odds and ends, so I'd like to maybe put that stuff in something else to tag along with me when I need it or when my purse itself is too small to hold it all. That's two things. Then I have two ideas for cupcakes... one is a Fall cupcake and the other is in preparation for Christmas! I want to experiment a little before hand. Those are the top four things I'd like to do. I'd also like to be feeling well enough to cook a nice dinner, be able to sit at Church and pray for a little while, get all my wash and ironing done and clean the bathroom.... There's also a new area of shops that are opening up that I'd like to scope out! Annnddd, if I knew of a nice little place around here, I'd like to go take pictures and capture this beautiful season of Fall! :) When all this will get done is a big question! We'll see what tomorrow brings!

Number Forty Seven

I crossed off number 47 on my list of 101 Things to do in 1001 Days tonight. :) Mono had 6 stitches to be taken out and he kindly let me remove them! :) Woo hooooo! I'm happy to see one more random thing crossed off my list. Now on to the other ninety or so! ;)

That is the most exciting thing that has gone on in my day today. I pulled my back out and have been on the couch the entire day. Can you guess where I am sitting right now? Yes, I'm still on the couch. Hopefully I will be better tomorrow and in a better mood for blogging. I have plenty of ideas to write about, but this has taken the mood away... Good night all!

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's Been A Long Day

It has been such a long day. Really, really long. It actually started last night, before I even went to bed. We were having storms last night, that were going to be sustained throughout the entire night, into the early hours of the morning. I never enjoy storms that hit overnight. We have an alarm radio that sounds inside our house when there is an alert for severe weather. Well, last night, I think it went off more than it stayed quiet. It's also really loud! Thus, no sleep! I have been exhausted all day long. I had so much to get done today, yet I had no energy to do any of it. If my day even started and you don't consider yesterday just blending in with today, I was up at at 'em at 7:30. I had things to get done at the house, then I showered, went to Church, had lunch, got some more things done at home, ran a bunch of errands, came home, prepared dinner, cleaned the kitchen and cleaned out the refrigerator. Mono came over for dinner, we ate, I did all the dishes (there were a ton of them after dinner and a cleaned out fridge) and then...time to relax, watch tv, enjoy some warm, fresh out of the oven peach dottie and blog! :) Mono and I are watching tv and hanging out for a little bit. I love evenings like this. :)

Being that I was so tired today, I didn't have it in me to cook a huge meal. There is so much you can do with chicken, and it's easy to work with, so that is what I went with. I made Italian, garlic and asiago chicken...asparagus seasoned with Mediterranean seasoning sea salt...French style green beans...and baby spinach salad with red peppers, croutons, sunflower seeds and Craisens with Nina's homemade balsamic vinegar dressing. It was relatively simple, but tasty! Dessert was easy. I love my Grandma's recipe... we call it Peach (or apple) Dottie (after her - Dorothy). Super easy and super tasty. I love it served warm right out of the oven. So, that was our dinner and dessert for the evening.

Hopefully tonight will be more restful and I will have more energy for the day ahead tomorrow!

Happy Birthday To My Best Friend!

 My best friend will be turning 24 in a few days. She is so dear to me so I love to celebrate her special day. Unfortunately we live hundreds of miles apart from each other, so celebrating together doesn't happen often. In fact, it's only happened once for hers and once for mine. I have known her since 2000. Ten years, crazy! It seems like it has been longer though. She is such a special friend, more like a sister. I know I can talk to her about just about anything. She and I met in a kinda odd way. A lot of people ask how we met being that we come from two different states that neither had even ever visited. We were both using the same home study program and they put a year book out one year and we were both in it. They had a space to put your contact information for pen pals and she spotted me and wrote to me! I was so excited to get a letter in the mail from a classmate! :) We clicked right away and it's been a wonderful friendship ever since! 
 Part of her present is being held hostage in Maryland with my parents so it is going to be delayed. I like to get her gift there so she can open it on her birthday, but this year, it's not looking so good. I hope she enjoys them when they get there! I'm already planning on the wrapping I will use. That's one of my favorite parts of giving gifts…. wrapping them! Side note: If I could have a dream job, I think that would be my job… wrapping people's gifts for them.

I hope my dear friend has a lovely birthday. She deserves the very best. Not everyone is so blessed to have a friend like her. We have had such wonderful memories over the years of our friendship. We have visited each other's families, gone on vacations together, and earlier this year, we spent a few days together in Nashville at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Hotel. That was a very memorable trip! 

Weekend at the Gaylord Opryland

 In Miami this summer
Hopefully we will be able to do more things like that in the future. The older we get, the busier our schedules get so it makes visits that much harder. She is studying for her masters to become a SLP and I am so proud of her. She has worked so hard and it is surely paying off.

She has a heart of gold and will do anything for anyone. She is dedicated, talented, and hard working. She is funny and smart. Her beauty certainly comes from within, but is such a beautiful woman on the outside as well. She is a wonderful daughter and sister and a great best friend. I am very blessed to call her my friend.

I wish you the very best birthday, full of fun, happiness and lots of love! Happy Birthday.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pretzel Time!

I had made some spicy, honey mustard the other day, in preparation for today's football snack! Homemade soft pretzels! I knew Mono and I both liked them, so I thought I would spend some time learning to make them. And I knew he liked dipping them in mustard so I decided I would learn how to make that as well.
 It's not often I have my own photographer, documenting what I am making! :) Thanks Mono!
 I loved the texture of this dough. :)

 The dough was made and I had to let it sit and double in size. It took about an hour, so I relaxed and got some things done that I wanted to do today. :) The timing was perfect!

 I will make sure I have more room next time for this part of the process. Rolling it out into a long piece was hard with all that on the counter so they got a little on the chunky side.

 Yumm! They were certainly a tasty snack for the football games today!
 Here's the jar of mustard that I made. It is really hard to make something you won't taste for flavoring. I am not a mustard person at all. If I am going to eat it, it has to be just a tad, of more of a honey mustard, on a sandwich or something. So being that I was making more of a spicy mustard, I wasn't going to taste it... Turns out, it was good, and definitely on the spicy side! Next time I am going to add a little more honey I think.
 Mono's game day treat!
I have a lot of fun trying out new recipes and experimenting with random things I wouldn't normally think of making on my own. It's been fun. This week has certainly had it's share of random meals and snacks!