Monday, November 26, 2012

Be thankful, every day.

It's the Monday after Thanksgiving.  There's leftover turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie.  There's grumbles about going to work after a long weekend.  There's the countdowns 'til the December holidays.

So quickly we forget.  Just last Thursday was Thanksgiving.  Remember?  That day, where we are reminded to be thankful for all that we have, opportunities we are given, and good fortune for the future.  

Unfortunately, sometimes it ends there.  One day that we are thankful for everything.  The day before and the day after, it is often forgotten.  People may sit around the dinner table talking of thanks for this or that.  Some people on Facebook are doing a whole month of thanks spanning through November.  That idea has merit.  But, at least for me, there's always something to be thankful for, every month, every day, not just November, or Thanksgiving.  

Although sometimes I joke, I know I am a very lucky girl.  I have a roof over my head, heat to take the chill off from the blistery winds, food to eat, and endless material items that I have accumulated throughout the years.  I have a job that I enjoy, fun co-workers, and motivation to continue serving our students.  I have a large extended family that would bend over backwards for me (and have done so on many occasion).  I have a second family I'm still learning to love.  Then there's my husband that shows his love through breakfasts in bed and grilled cheese and tomato soup, among other sweet nothings.  The newest addition, Rosie, the adopted shelter dog, constantly reminds me how much she is thankful for through sloppy kisses, wags of her tail, and sometimes sitting on my lap.  

The things I'm thankful for daily sometimes go unnoticed, unacknowledged, and unthanked.  Unthanked?  Sure, that's a word, because that's what they are.  Thanksgiving reminds us to be thankful.  We (myself included) need to remember that the actual Thursday in November should be just another thankful day.  A holiday to surround ourselves with friends, families, and laughter.  But all the other days?  Sometimes it's not feasible to be around the ones we love on a daily basis.  But they're still there, no matter the miles that separate us.  That's where the thanks comes in.  I'm working on it...  I'm working on being thankful for what I have.  Every day.  Not just when the holiday suggests it.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Reveal Day...

Foodie Penpals is so fun!  September was my first full month in Virginia, yet I hadn't quite found "Harrisonburg" items.  Searching for items to fill Alicia's package at The Wannabe Foodie was fun, I hope she loves it.

But on to my reveal!  I got my box from Ritsa at Runner Ritsa.  I didn't know at the time, but it was her first month.  Really awesome box!  Below is a picture of the contents, all of which either my husband or I have tried.  Check it out!

Dark Chocolate Dreams was the first thing I tried.  I like putting it on banana chunks before freezing them.  Delicious.  I must admit, I'm still a Nutella girl.  The husband on the other hand likes the DCD, so it's all his.  "It's like eating a Reese's Cup in a jar!"  Very sophisticated response, I must say.  Included in the box was a recipe for a mixture of pumpkin, oats, milk, raisins, and maple syrup.  It didn't quite turn out the way I thought, so we made the Pumpkin Cookies instead.  During on of the many chilly mornings I tried the BetterOats Dark Chocolate oatmeal for breakfast.  I've had BetterOats before, but never the chocolate kind.  They're different for sure, but good nonetheless!  I opened the Supreme Protein bar for a snack during the day, but I didn't like the consistency.  It was sitting on the counter when the husband got home, so he ate that too!  The chips were gone pretty soon after opening the box, right around snack time!  

Much thanks to Ritsa for the package!  Wanna learn more about Foodie Pen Pals?

FPP post September Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

Saturday, September 29, 2012


It's getting chilly in Virginia.  Ok, maybe it's just a little cold between the mountain ranges, which is exactly where we are.  Shenandoah Valley, that is.  So, in an effort to warm things up and make food at the same time, I came up with the items below.  Neither of which are exciting or super hard to make, but both were hits with my husband and I.

For a start to fall, pumpkin cookies were in order, especially since I had gotten some canned pumpkin from my Foodie Penpal, Ritsa!  In the case you actually try this recipe, I should mention, they're more like muffin-tops as far as consistency.  They're great, but not what I would traditionally call a cookie.

Pumpkin Cookies (very original name)
1 cup softened margarine
1.5 cups packed brown sugar
.5 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.5 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
.5 teaspoon salt
1.25 cups wheat flour
1.25 cups white flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together margarine and sugars until creamy (ha, perfect sense).  Add egg, vanilla, and pumpkin.  Slowly add a mixture of the remaining ingredients into the pumpkin mix.  Make sure to have all dry ingredients fully dissolved!  Drop by tablespoon on greased cookie sheets.  Bake 12-15 minutes or until starting to brown at edges.

Below is my finished product!  Note:  these have raisins in them, but I liked them better without.

The other "homemade" item was chicken noodle soup.  Really, a total no-brainer.  But there are a couple things that I imagine I do different than others (maybe?).  I cook my chicken by boiling it in a pan of tap water.  Then I cut it up into small chunks and add to my cold soup mixture.  I also use some bouillon but also Swanson Flavor Boost to make the soup mixture.  This was my first time using the super-concentrated packets.  No where on the packaging does it say how it should be used.  Like add 5 cups water or a cup milk?  Oh no, I'm not crazy.  A little online research showed that you are to add one cup water to each packet used.  Glad I'm not the only one trying to figure this stuff out.  I don't add celery to my soup.  I don't like it, no other reason.  Carrots though are fair game.  My spice mixture though I imagine is pretty typical (1 tablespoon margarine, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon oregano, 2 teaspoons black pepper).  That is for approximately 8 cups of "broth".  Sometimes my soup turns into what I call noodle soup instead of actual soup, meaning there's more noodles than anything else.  This phenomenon of course happened during this time too.  Still "soup" and still delicious either way.  Enjoy.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Reveal Day

So it's my first month of participating in a project called Foodie Penpals.  I was lucky to be paired up with two newbies like myself!  I sent my package to Karen and I received mine from Heather.  Shopping was fun, but getting my box in the mail was so exciting!  Heather packed mine up with all kinds of goodies, including her sweet note.

So, as I was taking things out of the box, my husband came over to snoop.  He then took the M&M Snack Mix and took tissue paper off of the glass items.  He was as anxious as I was?!  We agreed if he was going to be eating my stuff, he would have to buy something for next month!  About two seconds after everything was out and I took the picture, I broke into the apple chips.  I had these once before and remembered how delicious they were.  Crunchy and sweet, yum.  I normally like my tortilla chips white or yellow...never blue.  But later in the week I had to try the salsa, as I love new brands and types of salsa.  Without any other choice I broke open the blue chips.  Surprise!  They taste very similar to my "normal" chips.  The salsa on the other hand.  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  Delicious.  And almost gone.  Yum.  I had a little bit of the snack mix...the other 98% of the bag disappeared.  Hm.  I'm going to let the apple butter make the move, but I'm excited to have it later, as the apple sauce is great.  I like smooth 'sauce, chunky 'sauce, but had never had almost full slices of apple...sauce.  It's different.  In a good way.

In a nutshell, I loved my box from Heather (THANKS!) and am looking forward to next month!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Scoop

So, we're moving to Virginia.  My husband took a job at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  For lack of another term, we are uprooting everything we know in Ohio to venture to an unknown state.  Granted it's only seven hours from my hometown and nine from my husband's, I'm quite anxious.  We have packed probably 50% of our things thus far, not nearly enough with him leaving Saturday, for his first day at JMU on Monday.  My last day at work is Friday and it's all starting to come to a painful close, realizing some of the people I work with, for, or supporting, I may never see again.

In other news, I received my Foodie Penpal box last week, and it was filled with goodies that I will post about next week!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


This blog's creation is completely related to spending some time writing.  Not writing emails, letters of recommendation, program proposals, contracts, resumes, cover letters, or even texts.  I do too much of all the above in my life already.  It's funny to think about, but all through high school and college I blogged.  Not about anything in particular.  Just picture Twitter...with a lot more characters describing life. Yep, that was it.

Ok, so moving past my last blog in 2008, I hope this works as a creative outlet, which I probably need more than Facebook and Twitter combined.  I'm pretty sure no one will read it, nor do I care, but sometimes things are worth saying despite the audience.

There is one project though that will stay on this blog.  Foodie Penpals.  Check the button below for more details.  In short, I will be sending a box of goodies from Toledo to my "penpal" and another person will send me a box from their hometown.  I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone's reveal days, at the end of each month!
fpplogo Foodie Penpals