Saturday, September 27, 2014

Finding Inspiration

I'm always on the hunt for "inspiration."

I find myself browsing Bloglovin' more than Pinterest these days.  I used to love Pinterest but now I only pop on there when I need to search for a specific recipe or diy instructions.  I don't really love to browse Pinterest anymore.  But I LOVE to browse Bloglovin.  Honestly I think it's because Bloglovin only shows 3 rows at a time, whereas Pinterest shows 5.  When I look at Bloglovin I see everything, when I look at Pinterest I scan through and don't notice every post.  Pinterest seems too cluttered.



Ok getting sidetracked.  The point is that when I'm looking for inspiration I gravitate toward Bloglovin more than Pinterest.  Although I still use Pinterest for some things.

I also love to browse through (posted about that here).

I love the site

I'll occasionally scan through

Where do you look online to find inspiration?  Be it for art, music, life, encouragement - where do you search?  

Ok the next question is - once you find the inspiration, once you've spent hours and days filling your soul with art and beauty, what do you do next?  Unless you're a full-time musician or visual artist, how do you incorporate these inspiring pieces into your life?  Do you ever feel creatively satisfied?  I'm hoping to write a post about that soon.  In the meantime I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Have a great weekend!



Thursday, September 25, 2014

TV shows for the old folks

I realized today that not only do we go to bed ridiculously early, we also watch Frasier religiously every night...

We may be old fogeys, but at least we're keeping it classy hahaha!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Easy, Freezable Meals

My sister asked me to share my tips for quick and easy, freezable meals.  The first one I'll be sharing is lasagna.  I think everyone knows how to make lasagna.  So I have just a couple of tips for making it easier and healthier.

You can easily whip up a couple of pans of this, freeze it, then eat it later!  It takes no more effort to double the recipe than it does to make one pan.

- This may seem like common sense, but to save time, get the water boiling first, then start browning the meat.  Continue to cook the noodles while the meat is browning

- To make it nice and healthy, throw some vegetables in with the meat.  To save time, steam the veggies while the meat is browning and the noodles are cooking.

- Stock up on frozen veggies.  Our grocery store, Publix, has frozen organic vegetables that are very yummy.  I included broccoli, corn, peas, and fresh zucchini.  I use frozen veggies almost every day.  I love using them for stir-fry, lasagna, casseroles, as regular sides, and sneaking them into anything else I can think of.

- Use gluten-free noodles.  They are easier to digest, and since they're mixed in with all the other flavors, you won't notice any weird taste.

- Mix the ricotta cheese with a little bit of milk to make it creamier and easier to spread.

- Add pre-minced garlic with the meat and/or veggies.  I use pre-minced garlic in almost everything I cook.  It adds just as much flavor as fresh garlic and yet saves so much time.  I keep a big jar of it in my fridge and use it in rice, veggies, ground beef, and anything else I can think of.

- Use pre-shredded cheese.  I look for organic cheese that doesn't have any other weird ingredients.  It's not too much work to shred fresh cheese if you have a food processor, but since we're always looking for ways to save time, I stuck with pre-shredded.

Other than that, my lasagna was pretty straight forward: layer of sauce, layer of noodles, layer of veggie/meat mix, layer of ricotta, sprinkle of mozzarella, sprinkle of parmesan, repeat layers, top with a layer of noodles, sauce, sprinkle of parmesan, bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  

This was technically my first time making lasagna, and I think it turned out pretty good.  Peter loved it, even though it had peas in it.  ;)

Let me know your kitchen tips and time-savers in the comments.  I'd love to know your tricks!

Also let me know if you're interested in more posts like this.  I've been challenging myself to come up with creative ways to use up all our food and not let anything go to waste.  If you're interested in seeing more recipes, let me know.



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Age is just a number?

You know you're getting old when hot date night plans go from dinner and a movie to the cafe at Barnes and Noble so that you won't miss your 9 o'clock bedtime. 

True story. 

I might look young, but I feel so old. Sometimes being a grown up is lame. 

Ok it's an hour past my bedtime. Hope you had an eventful weekend! Night night. 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fear of "settling down"

Lately I've been experiencing the "Great Fear of Settling Down."

I know, I know... For a long time I've been anxiously awaiting the day I could settle down.  But now that we live in an affordable place and it looks like we could actually afford a house in the near future, I'm starting to get cold feet.

Houses are very affordable here, especially now that we have two incomes.  We've been driving around and finding our favorites, looking at realty websites, and having general discussions about if or when we want to buy a house (first we have to buy furniture, a new bed, pay off my student loans, and get some money in savings... so it wouldn't be any time soon).

But I'm freaked out.

I'm afraid of getting "stuck."

There are so many new places I want to see and experience.

Can I be content with just visiting other countries?  Do I actually want to live overseas again?

Our jobs, salaries, and benefits are so great here... Peter has been mentioning that wouldn't mind staying here forever.

But I don't think I can commit anywhere for forever.  Or maybe I've just not found the perfect place yet?

Do any of you know what I mean?  Or am I just crazy?  Does everyone long for a home of their own?  A place to settle in and raise a family?  Am I just the crazy one that gets freaked out of that sort of "commitment?"

Friday, September 12, 2014

Durbin farm market

Last weekend I attended a conference in Tuscaloosa. It was great and I had a good time. But the drive home was more fun because Peter and I were able to stop at some cute places. One of those was this lovely roadside farm market. It was one of those stops where you see the sign before the exit, look at your husband and say "should we stop?" And then frantically try to get to the exit in time. 

I snapped some photos on my phone to share with you guys. Really can't wait to get a dslr again. 


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Barnes and Noble Haul

Hey Folks... Peter and I recently went to Barnes and Noble and bought a few things.  I thought it would be fun to share with you which books caught our fancy and why.

Sorry for the horrible picture quality.  We had to sell our nice camera when we left Brazil, and we haven't had the money to get a new one yet.  I've just been using my iPhone camera, which isn't horrible but isn't great, either.

Dutch Blitz - a fast paced card game.  Pretty fun.

These three were in the "End-of-Summer Clearance" section.

Forget about it by Caprice Crane - A girl gets in an accident and pretends to have amnesia so she can get a "do-over" on life.  So far it's pretty chick-lit.  Haha!

In the Company of Others by Jan Karon -  I absolutely LOVE the Mitford series by Jan Karon, and this book follows the protagonist of the Mitford series as he and his wife go to the country of his ancestors - Ireland.

On Hummingbird Wings by Lauraine Snelling - A woman has to move from New York back to California to take care of her dying mother, "even though her primary ailment seems to be hypochondria."  Another Chick-Lit pick.

Should I post reviews when I'm done?

We bought these three because they are part of the series of books that Barnes and Noble has where the covers are decorated by current popular illustrators... Peter already has a lot from the series.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - It's a classic.  You should read it.

The Constitution of the United States of America and Selected Writings of the Founding Fathers - The majority of this book is the "selected writings" portion.  Some very interesting info in here, especially for the history geeks (which I am).

A Treasury of Classic Poetry - Peter and I both love poetry.  I grew up reading all my mom's books of poems, but I realized I didn't have any of my own!  This is a good start to my collection.

So that is an overview of our most recent trip to Barnes and Noble.  I'll let you know if I like them!



Friday, September 5, 2014

End of the Week Confessions

I confess...

... a couple of days ago I ate a bunch of Skittles and then felt sick for too many hours afterward.  #notworthit

... I only worked 3 days this week (because of Labor Day and because I went to a conference on Friday) and yet I'm STILL exhausted.

... my apartment is still a mess because when I get home from work I'm too tired (physically and mentally) to do anything.

... when I first moved here I was eating super healthily and actually lost a lot of weight (also probably lost the weight due to stress), but since we've settled into a routine I've been getting lazy with my eating habits and can tell that I've gained some weight back.

... I keep meaning to do pilates and then never do...

... I took a buzzfeed quiz and found out that my subconscious is obsessed with... food!  I heartily agree.

... I didn't want to go to the conference, but I'm glad that I did.  More on that, later.

The chorus and opera rehearsal space at the university of Alabama is amazing. Super tall ceilings and brick walls make for amazing acoustics. 

... after church on Sunday I plan to sleep and lounge around in my pajamas for the rest of the day.  #lazy?

... I just spent too much money at Barnes and Noble, but I think it was worth it.  Should I do a "haul" post?

What are your "confessions" for this week?



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Panama City beach, Florida

We spent a day in Panama City Beach, Florida, this weekend. It's such a crazy little town. Some other friends recommended we go to a different, more quaint, town, but we kinda wanted to see what PCB was about. We had heard a lot about it - mostly that it's a popular destination for spring breakers... 

It's definitely unique and there's plenty to do. I would say it's a smaller version of Las Vegas, and a little more family friendly. But it definitely has a Vegas "vibe." 

Here are some things we saw...

An upside down building

A ship-shaped building

A safari themed putput place 

There were so many unique places that we didn't get pictures of. As well as some HUGE hotels. 

I'm glad we got to see what Panama City Beach is like, but I don't think we will be going back. I think next time we plan to visit Seaside, FL, where they filmed The Truman Show. Ah, we're getting old arent we? We'd rather stroll through quaint beach towns than party it up... Haha to be honest I've always preferred strolling and shopping in a cute village to a wild party. 

On our drive back it poured rain. 

What did you do for Labor Day weekend?