Sunday, April 29, 2012

Boxes are out to get me!

I am still here! We have moved into the new house and are working hard.

I am unpacking like a mad lady! but feeling like it will end at some point.  Right now, we are working on just getting as much put away as possible so that we can then figure out what we need in order to organize it all completely.

I will be back soon with some pictures and a better update! I finally have an office again and my computer so I am a happy lady.

I'll be back!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

It is official!

The papers are signed

The money has been handed over

The keys are waiting for us on Thursday!


Now we just wait to move in.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Anyone want to come and help me unpack next week?

We have done nothing but pack for the last week and are exhausted! I am glad that this is all moving so fast because I am impatient but goodness gracious this is a lot of work to do in only 9 days.  I think we are good though.  The big box is full and we have so little left to do in the house.  We have quite a bit more than the box would fill so we are renting a uhaul to take over the rest of the stuff ourselves.  Things like pictures, plants, breakables and such will go in vehicles.

Schedule this week:

   10:00 Meeting with a printing company regarding my company
   11:30 Meeting with a different company regarding printing!
   12 noon meet a friend to find a bible study book to do this summer together
   3:00 Meeting at the lawyers to sign final paperwork on house
   4:30 Dad and fiance come through.  Only stopping to grab a few things from us that are theirs and I am sick of moving and packing around!
   6:30 Dinner with a friend that I never get to see!

   9:30-12:30 Huge long amazing meeting with my business advisor/coach.  Love these times together so this is good.

   10:30-2:30 Food Show.  Wander and talk to all my vendors.  Make appointments for future meetings.  Smile lots and talk lots and act all professional! Sometimes :)

   10:00 Meet at house to sign off on final paperwork and get the keys!!!!
   10:15 Scream really loud in excitement that it is finally ours!
   11:00-Whenever we stop- unload uhaul, load back up, unload uhaul, load back up, meet with water guys, meet with phone/internet guys, paint the office, pack up office at current house and move over there, pack up bedroom and move over there (if we have energy otherwise it will wait till Thursday), and just be excited we finally have our home.

This is how my week will be.  In the middle of all this, thankfully Husband is home so he can be at the house doing a lot of the packing and loading without me.  He is good like that! To say I am tired right now is an understatement.  I feel like there is so much going on in my brain right now and I just can't slow it down.  I have so much to do and yet nothing all at the same time.  Husband went to visit his parents for the day and night and to drop off the dog for the next two weeks.  So happy about that.  She was going nuts here.  She needed out! So, we made the executive decision to do nothing today.  I am doing 14 loads of laundry, but other than that? Watching too much TV and eating too much greek yogurt.

This morning we did try a new church though that we both really liked! Good music, good feel, good sermon.  They do a huge brunch every single week which we found cool.  We then went for a light lunch at a local garden center (they have a little cafe) and went to the Muttart Conservatory.  I love that Husband is starting to love it there as much as I am! It is so pretty.

Time to go fold laundry.  I can't believe how much there is! I can't imagine having kids clothes thrown in there! Oh well.

Oh that happy note, if I am not around much for the next few days? See above.  I might be busy! But I will be back with updates and pictures soon!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hello. My name is Jowell.

UPDATE: Feeling a little better today.  Things falling into place with moving and life and that is helping.


We bought a duplex as you all know. *insert crazy excited dancing person here

Super excited to move at this point.  We will be there in one week today!!!! Anyways, we went for our final walk through today and as we were leaving, I checked my email and there was one from the builder.

"********** would like to hear about your recent purchasing experience and gather feedback about the sales and design processes.
This survey has been sent to the current mailing address your builder provided us:

     Jowell ******
     Husband ******
     ***wrong address***
    ****** right city****"

Is it just me or is my name a little off.  And the wrong address too? Laughing, I  just did their online survey and in the comments mentioned that I am concerned that the paperwork I sign on Monday is correct considering that my name has been changed to Jowell in their records.

Can we just note how freakin hilarious that name is? Seriously? Husband is joking that he is going to call me that from now on.  So not happening.  I might mention it next time I see them though and ask them if they just make up peoples names these days.  Too fun.  Needed to laugh today.

So our house? Lovely.  Just lovely :)  I think we are going to love living there.  I think we will have our days when we wish we had more space but for the most part? We will be so happy.  I can't wait to paint and change a few nasty light fixtures (builders tend to go with whatever is cheapest I think and that tends to lead to not lovely lights!) I can't wait to try wallpaper and to hang pictures and to just have it be mine.  I can finally really organize my stuff.  With permanent ideas instead of "Oh look.  4 houses in 2 years.  Better make this portable!" sort of ideas.  I want a home again.  I want to feel cozy and relaxed and like it is mine.  I want to see things on Pinterest and actually try them! Oh if I had the ambition! How funny am I :) 

Our  home right now? An amazing landmine style living arrangement that is making me insane! I can't handle mess and clutter and I think that there is one clean room in the whole house and it is the office walk in closet.  I might take up living in there! Every room is full of crap! Random boxes of stuff to donate, or give away, or pictures off walls just leaning there or things that don't have a home in a box yet or big furniture or just...... stuff!

So sad.  This is what it feels like right now.  It looks probably ten times better! But this is how it feels. We (Husband) started loading the Big Steel Box today.  All of the finished boxes are in there right now and that has made a huge difference.  Tomorrow he (we) is loading all the shelves/book shelves and other major furniture.  I think the only thing that is staying in the house is one love seat! Oh and the stools for the kitchen.  We are wanting the box loaded and done and ready to go.  We have my Dad and his fiance here for night next week and they will have beds and that is it.  It will be a restaurant for dinner and then home to bed.  Or the floor.  Such good hosts! By the end of Sunday, our goal is to have 1-2 boxes left in the kitchen, our bedroom things we need and clothes, one bathroom worth of stuff, and the main things from my office out and that is it.  We will have a stack of pictures and lamps and plants and things that will not make the cut to the Box but other than that? Empty house.  Why you ask? Because we are insanely busy for Monday-Wednesday next week and don't want to deal with frantic last minute packing.

Have you ever shown up to help someone move and they didn't pack those final "21 boxes of crap" and think it is no big deal! I do not love those people.  Seriously? You couldn't pack your tupperware??? Anyways, it makes me a little crazy and so I don't do that.  We might be eating fridge and freezer clean out for days, but things will be packed! The funny item that we have packed too much of this time? Drinking glasses.  We packed all but I think 4.  I am now reusing glasses like never before! It makes me laugh every time I go to get something to drink.  I am one of those different glass/mug for every drink.  I know.  Pathetic. But I do the dishes and I like it that way! Not anymore! Reuse reuse reuse!

On the schedule for tomorrow:
  • big furniture and shelves all moved into Box
  • clean out a few rooms completely
  • buy a new tv as ours has decided that it is not happy with us anymore and as a tv junkie I need one for the new house
  • breakfast with a friend we have not seen in forever
  • lawyer for picking up some papers
  • work.  I kicked ass at this today and yesterday and pretty much every day this week! and so tomorrow will only be probably 3-4 hours of work!! I am so glad.  I need a short day so I can help with the above
  • freezer clean out.  A few too many ice crystals on a few too many items.  Sad to throw out, but we will not eat it so why pack it around!
  • fridge clean out as well.  Sauces galore! If I have not looked at it in 6 months? Probably don't need it.
  • check mail
  • bank for more papers
  • get together Paige (dog) things to ship her away for a few weeks.  She is going to my in-laws for this whole moving thing.  They live 2 hours away.  She just hates moving and gets all stressed out and this way? She is happy and so are we.
  • relax!!! This one might not happen.  We will see!

Seeing as tomorrow is insane, I should head to bed.  Did I mention that I am still off sleep aids??? Super pumped! But wanting one so that I can have one good nights sleep this month.  I will fight through :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Happy note: bought all the pretty things for my office today.  They are filling the car.  No point in bringing them in just to pack them and move them.

I am anxious.  I am feeling way too much anxiety at this point.  It is driving me crazy! LIFE IS GOOD!

  • all our bills are being paid
  • Husband is home to help pack and move
  • we bought a duplex!
  • work is on an upswing for the first time in years
  • I am growing
  • I am learning new skills and how to think and I am loving it
  • I figured out my office!
  • We figured out furniture placement today
  • We are both healthy
  • I get to see family in two weeks! This is huge!
  • I have amazing plans for when they are here for the first time every! I will blow their socks off with amazingness!
  • I bought a new worship CD today and a new book
  • Have I mentioned that life is good?
So why am I feeling so grey! Why am I struggling so much! It is driving me crazy and I am not sure .  I am feeling a lot like this right now.  And it sucks! Any suggestions? And no.  I will not take medication at this time.  I know that a lot of it is my Dad and his wedding and all the odd feelings that are going on there.  A lot of it is nightmares I have been having about the sexual abuse/family from my past.  A lot of it is that mothers day is around the corner and I can't go into a store right now without seeing it.  But how do I get out of this? I will.  I always do.  Just having an off day.  

Tomorrow will be better.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Office Dreaming and Decorating

Challenge #1: the entire new house is beige.

Challenge #2: I forgot how to decorate or come up with decor ideas somehow over the last few months.  The creative well is empty.

Challenge #3: We move in 8 days.

Challenge #4: I glued my eyelids this morning putting on fake eyelashes.  Don't judge.  They are beautiful.  And now blinking has sucked all day.

Challenge #5: Husband wants to paint my office in the first 4 hours we have the house and then set it up immediately which means I have 7 days to figure out what I want in there.

Solution: Drag Husband all over town dreaming this afternoon and trying to find an inspiration point.  I think I succeeded.  I don't know how to do one of those fancy boards that other people make so here are the pictures of what I am thinking!  This light fixture.

Desk.  IKEA.  I have different legs, and it is extended but this helps with color.


Paint color

I bought a whole bunch of wall hangings like this one.  I want to do a collage on one wall to inspire me.

Anthropologie.  I am going to use these as the main door knob and the closet doors.

Can I just say that this is all just getting started in my head but that I am so excited??? I really am.  I want to make that room amazing and so pretty.  I want it to sparkle and be calming and soothing, peaceful and yet inspiring and mine.  Husband won't give me an opinion and so I am doing what I want! He wants me to make it mine and all mine.  Can't say no to that! I can't wait to post pictures of the progress.  This is the first room that will be done.  We are painting next Thursday and will probably do some of the rest (doorknobs and light) over the following few days before all the furniture comes.


And Jibberblog? DO THE BURNT ORANGE! I have and I loved it.  Probably will somewhere in this house too!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Big Steel Box and boxes and more boxes!

Wow.  We are insane! We found out today, yes you read that right, today that we get the house next Thursday.  Sorry, I mean on the 26th.  That seems farther away and easier for my brain to deal with! So what did we do? We booked a BIG STEEL BOX.

Oh yes we did.  And then started phoning and packing.  So, since Friday, what have I gotten done?

  • transfer phone
  • transfer fax
  • transfer Internet
  • hook up water
  • hook up power
  • hook up natural gas
  • hook up water
  • book a "box"
  • buy and fill a lot of boxes
  • arrange cleaners for current house for when we move out
  • change of address online
  • house insurance
  • pack.

We have done a lot of packing.  As of now:

Library                100%
Kitchen                 75%
Dining Room        95%
Living Room         90%
Entrance                50%
Spare Room #1     50%
Spare Room #2     75%  
Man Cave            100%
Master Bedroom     0%
Bathroom #1           0%
Bathroom #2           0%
Bathroom #3           0%
Bathroom #4           0%
Family Room        30%
Office                   35%

Insanity! Our house looks so empty.  Tomorrow I have to work most of the day, but tomorrow night? MORE PACKING!!! I am sick of it already! The good news? We have gotten rid of so much stuff.  SO much.  We have boxes set aside for family, have sent car loads home with people and have done multiple trips to the Hope Mission Store.  I will try to take some pictures tomorrow of our progress!

Oh, and I have to pick paint colors for my office this week.  HELP! Husband said I can do anything I want.  Literally.  Why is this so hard? I used to have so many ideas and they would just flow and now? Nothing.  A dry well.  No dreaming.  Nothing.  At this point? It will stay beige.  Which is close to death for this girl.  Any ideas? I want it warm, but calming and soothing.  Peaceful.  But playful.  I have a lot of work to do

Can't wait to move!!!


OK.  So more like a duplex.  But it will be ours.  We are so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Understatement of the year.

I have been so busy packing and with company this weekend that I completely forgot to blog.  But I am back and I can see this blog including home decor and house stuff in the near future! We find out today what the closing date is, but it is looking like end of next week at the latest! Can we just say insane??? We have to pack and move in 10 days.  And then 9 days later we get company.  Yup.  We have lost our minds.

Here are some pics! The house is not completely done yet but you will get the idea!


Kitchen (it will have stainless steel appliances and a microwave range hood combo)

Upstairs flex room looking into the spare room and office.  The other door is the bathroom.

Laundry room!!!! Right beside the master bedroom.  Biggest excitement for us

Horrible picture of master bath

Our is the one on the left.  Isn't it cute? They will do the driveway, front landscaping and such once the weather is nicer.

We can't wait! We wanted to downsize and we will be! The main floor is 700 sq feet and the upstairs is 846.  It also has a full unfinished basement.  It will be lovely.  Just needs some paint! There is a little too much beige in there right now! We are wanting to do a theme in the house.  No, not some crazy theme. But all one cohesive look.  We are thinking of basing the whole house off of this picture?

The colors are a little washed here but this is what we are thinking.  I will let you know how that goes! Right now? Husband just wants me to pick my office color so that he can get that painted before we set everything up.  Choices choices! I want it different than this one I think.  I have no idea.  Maybe the same? AAAAHHHHH! I usually take my time and find something perfect and now I have no ideas! Very strange for me.  I am the paint nazi!

But yeah.  That is our exciting news.

And for your viewing pleasure because it is hilarious:

This is my cousin.  We were decorating cupcakes and his son claimed his were all done.  Then this happened.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Quinoa Breakfast Bites

So this blog is not just about food, I just am on a stretch right now of trying new recipes! And if they turn out? Why not post them for you to enjoy.  More about life though soon.  Still waiting on house news and going crazy day by day.

So here they are!

Quinoa Breakfast Bites

(Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats)

3 cups cooked quinoa (about 3/4 cup uncooked)
3 eggs
3 egg whites
1 1/2 cup zucchini, shredded
2 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/4 cup diced ham
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
3 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
3 green onions, sliced
1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste

Mix together in a bowl.  Spoon into mini muffin tins that have been well greased.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Take out and let sit for a few minutes before eating! 

These are amazing.  Just sayin.  I saved some of the mix and made more fresh the next day and they were even better! When I make these again, I am going to make the mix the night before.  I served them with fresh fruit and lemon greek yogurt for brunch on Sunday.  Everyone was a fan.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Secret to Amazing BBQ Chicken

I grew up in a house of horrible BBQ chicken.

Not to be rude, but my parents were not good at making it.

I either tasted a little raw, or was burned so bad it was nasty.

I think everyone else loved it but me.

A project for once we had a BBQ?

Figure out how to make amazing chicken.

And I have.


OK.  Enough conceit.  But seriously? I have the best way to make it that is so easy and will impress anyone!


Start with some chicken drumsticks.

Scrub your BBQ down so it is clean.

Spray with PAM.  Sounds weird right? Just do it.  Trust me.

Turn on your BBQ.  When it hits 400 degrees, place your chicken on the BBQ.  I am OCD on how I place my chicken and it stays that way the whole time.  You can place yours as you see fit!

Turn down the heat to low so that the temperature sites somewhere between 325 and 350.  Perfect cooking temperature.

Close the lid and relax.  About 10-12 minutes later, flip your chicken.  It will look like this.

Continue to flip every 10 minutes or so until it is fully cooked.  This is the point where most people have already screwed up.  If you add the sauce immediately, you will just burn it (due to the sugar) to the outside of the chicken which is what makes it all black and burned tasting!  Wait till the chicken is almost completely cooked and then follow these steps.

Find an amazing BBQ sauce.  This is our favorite.  Apple Butter from Montana's (the restaurant).  You can buy it there.  I do.  Many times a year.

Baste one side of the chicken.  Then crank the heat to medium.  Close lid and leave it for 2 minutes.  Flip and baste the other side.  Wait two minutes.  Flip and do this again! What happens is the BBQ sauce heats up, starts to caramelize and make an amazing layer on the chicken.  Seriously amazing chicken.

I do this 3 times per side.  You end up with the best chicken.  Ask Husband! 

On a different note, I had a wonderful birthday.  I hung out all day and did some work, watched some tv, went for an amazing dinner and got the best gift! Husband bought me the Keurig Milk Frother/Steamer! I love it! Makes the best drinks.  I can't wait to play with it and make yummy things.  I will let you know what I come up with!

We did have an interesting day today.  Husband had a colonoscopy this morning.  Really early this morning and he did really well.  The doctor said that everything with his Chrohns is doing awesome and his levels are all perfect.  Do you have any idea how huge this is???? I am so happy right now!
I did manage to pull the muscles in my legs bad enough yesterday that I can't walk today.  Ouch.  On my way to have a bath right now! If I can get in and out....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's my birthday!!!!!

Today I turn 32.  I am young at heart and old in mind and body! I love looking back and analyzing decisions I have made and so when I saw this on Jibberblog, I realized that I should do this today of all days!

"5 best decisions of my adult life so far"

  1. Marry Husband.  Best decision of all.  No doubt about it.  I am sure if you have read this blog for awhile you realize how much I love that guy.  Oh if I had the words! He rocks.  He knows me better than anyone, can see through my crap and adores me.  He knows what makes me laugh, what makes me tick and how to cheer me up.  Best decision.
  2. Move away from home! Husband and I packed up and moved 15 hours away from our childhood homes in our first year of marriage.  At the time, people thought we were nuts.  Really? The best thing we could have done.  It made a strong foundation for our marriage.  We were not stuck in a rut and could start "our" life and "our" family.  Dealing with infertility was hard but I think it would have been worse doing it surrounded by friends and family having kids.  Holidays were hard but we created our own traditions and started our own.  I stopped being known as "aren't you the girl that had that brain thing?" and just was me.  
  3. Buy our first business.  Made us dream big, take risks and learn to trust God more.  Made us work that much harder but in the end? The rewards have the potential to be great.
  4. Move again for a bigger risk! We are risk takers.  As my dad put it earlier today "if you go broke trying? Good for you.  If you go broke sitting at home on your couch? Not cool"
  5. Ultimate Leadership.  I went twice.  Changed my life.  Can't wait to go again.

So, we find out tomorrow if we get the house!!! The bank is saying it is good to go though so we are cautiously optimistic at this point.  We played around with a few more numbers and it seems like it might actually happen.  Fun part of all this? We get the house on April 25th.  Can we just say how insane that is??? We will remove conditions and then move less than 2 weeks later.  And 9 days after that? My sister, her husband and 4 kids are coming to visit. 


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Leftover amazingness

These are my leftovers.

On drugs.

Got any questions?

(anyone else remember that commercial?)

Not sure what to call this, but here are some directions on how to make it!

Mexitalian Lasagne
written by me.

Start with 3 cups of your leftover Haystack sauce.  Add 1 cup chopped chicken, 1 cup chicken broth,    1 1/2 tablespoons pesto, and anything else you want to throw in! I added some salad dressing from the chopped chicken salad! I am telling you.  I was in fridge clean out mode!

Find a beautiful casserole dish to use.  I used this one because it is pretty.  Should have used a more shallow pan! I would recommend a regular 9x13 pan.

In a bowl, combine 3 cups cottage cheese, 1 egg, 1 cup black beans, 1 cup corn, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1 tsp chili powder ( I have the spicy chipotle one otherwise I would use a full tablespoon), 1 tsp Johnny's seasoning salt, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp cumin.  Mix it well!

Layer baby layer!!!

I did:

Cheese mix
Cheese mix
Cheese mix
Monteray Jack cheese slices and some parmesan cheese.

Keep in mind that you don't have to make it into this many layers! I did because I wanted to and the pan fit it better this way.

Bake, covered, at 350 for one hour or until noodles are cooked.  Take out of oven sprinkle with chopped up banana peppers (base the amount on the amount of spice you want) and fresh chopped cilantro.  Let site for 15 minutes.  Serve with salad and garlic toast! Or just eat like this!

Because mine was so thick, I could not get it out in pieces so we ate it casserole style.  


Flavor: really good.  Even Husband loved it! I would add more banana peppers to the layers maybe next time.  Would add a little more heat

Pros: cleaned a lot out of my fridge and was something a little different.

Cons: Seriously not easy to make again! I will have to go through the other recipes and write down all those ingredients to add to this recipe in my cookbook.

Would I make it again? Yes.  I definitely would.  I really liked it. I love the pesto with the mexican feel to it.  Tonight we had it for leftovers and we grated 4 pepper cheddar cheese onto it and it just upped the flavour again! And it was better today than yesterday.

So there you have it.   A Dawn original!

P.S. I survived today with a smile on my face and only a small headache! I went to the farmers market and bought amazing goodies, bought a stylus for my iPad, grocery shopped, hung out with Husband once he got home from work, and just enjoyed my day.  

Saturday, April 7, 2012

April 7th, 1998-The day I kicked a brain aneurysm's butt

I was laying on the couch resting.

Spaghetti and meat sauce simmering on the stove.

The door opened.

Husband was there.

He leaned over to kiss me and as I stood up I screamed.

I collapsed on the floor holding my head.

I tried to crawl away from him.

I wouldn't stop screaming.

He chased me through the house.

I was on my hands and knees.

This is where I start to forget.

I remember yelling "no...don't bring me there! They will give me needles!"

I was in so much pain.

We arrived at the hospital.

I was shaking.

So hard.

I remember them trying to warm me up.

I was so cold.

I remember the pain.

The fear.

Thinking I was going to die.

I remember crying.

I remember looking up and seeing the pastor, my mom, dad, Husband (boyfriend at the time) standing at the foot of my bed in shock.

I remember going for tests.

I remember talking on the phone to my sister when medivac was wheeling me out.

That is all.

There are only vague memories after that.

Bits and pieces.


A lot of pain.

And a lot of needles.

This day every year hits hard.  I always wake up with a headache.  I think as a reminder that life is too short.  I am always scared of this day.  Just a little.  This day makes me remember the pain.  The fear.  The trauma of the whole event.  I was almost 18.  Madly in love.  Grade 12.  Living life.  And it struck.  I had a brain aneurysm.
 Boyfriend sitting by my bed while I slept.

Don't I look happy? I remember trying to smile for this

Just before I left in an outfit chosen in a panic by family.  The hottie? My brain surgeon

Looking through photos from home.

What I saw every day.  Sister, mom and dad.  Such fake smiles.

In the first few days after.  Kinda gross.  I know.

Day 10.  They washed my hair.  It was a good day.

My favorite nurse.

There was a 50% chance that I would have another brain aneurysm in the next 10 years.  I am almost through 14.  I have beat the odds.  It still scares me sometimes.  When I have headaches that won't leave for days.  When taste buds go funny.  When things don't "feel" right.  I get scared.  I was so angry after.  Everything changed.  The steroids made me fat.  My eye color, skin color, hair color, personality....everything.  It all changed.  I forgot everything.  I still don't remember a lot of things.  I lost all my short term and lot of long term memory.  Funny story.  I remember sitting in the bathtub after I got home and was all of a sudden embarrassed.  I had no idea what to do! What are all these bottles? What do you do with them? Such silly problems I had to face.  And still do some days.

Husband saved my life that day.  He kept me alive.  He rushed me to the hospital and threatened a doctor to get me help.  He found my parents.  He was there.  He stayed.  Even when I changed.  Even when he didn't recognize me.  Even in a wheelchair.  He stayed.  Thank you.  I didn't deserve you.  I still wonder if I do.

I was so angry after.  I was mad at myself and God and my family and the doctors.  I was just mad.  Why me? I would ask myself and God.  Why? I still don't know.  I am still curious as to why I went through that.  It has changed my life in so many ways.  You have no idea how NOT amazing grad was for me! Prom? Not fun.  I got dressed up, went to the dinner, danced one dance and Husband brought me home and tucked me in.  Wore me out for days afterwards.  Wow.  I spent my 18th birthday in the hospital.  YEAH! I did graduate though! Only through pity, but I still did.

Will these fears ever leave? Does it mean I am not over it? Or is it just a healthy reminder to not dwell on the past and to live each day to the fullest.  I think I am "over" it as much as I can be.  Will I ever forget? No.  Is it bad that I remember this day so clearly every year? I don't know.  This year has kicked my ass when it comes to health and it started reminding me of that year.  What a year it was.  I still have a lovely scar.  My skull is not all the way attached (some bone chipped out of the wired in section so it is a rough odd edge.  It is attached though.  I hope!) and I have a lovely indent where the cut was.  I still have memory problems.  I still have screwed up hormones and less immune system than I should.  I still have headaches every single day.

But I am alive.

Brain aneurysm? I kicked your ass.  Just sayin.

Friday, April 6, 2012

1000 Awesome Things and my fridge clean out idea

Have any of you read this book?

It is amazing.  It is based on the blog "1000 Awesome Things".  He has since had it published and it rocks! I have one in my bathroom and read a few before bed each night.  They always make me smile :) I highly recommend it.  No brain needed.  No "hard-to-read-must-pay-attention" about it.  My brother was having a rough day a few weeks ago and I read him a few and had him smiling by the end of the conversation.  There is actually a second one on the market now too! As soon as I am done this one? I will be buying it.

Reason I am posting is because you have to read what was posted today.

Seriously.  Go read it.  Hilarious and so true.  Anyways, if you need a little pick me up? Go spend a few dollars and smile at least once a day on me!

This weekend is odd.  I will spill the news finally.  We are trying to buy a house and are not sure it will work out for us.  We own a house still in our old city but because I am self employed (yeah!!) it is stinkin hard to get a mortgage these days.  We are renting now and want to own again sooooo bad.  The biggest reason? The duplex we want would be $900 less for the mortgage than what we are paying in rent.  Can we just all note how crazy that is??? We are working with the bank though and should know by Thursday.  We were supposed to know last week but we are still trying to pull it off.

Husband has been gone now for almost a week and I am lonely! One of the things I struggle with when he is gone is eating.  I remember to eat every day but I make some really odd things.  I don't do the soup or toast or cereal thing.  Have you seen my last two posts? 
Yesterday I had:
  • Breakfast: WW tortilla with peanut butter and coconut wrapped around a banana and coffee
  • Lunch: Salad.  This is one of my favorites.  I made it with less quinoa this time though and butter lettuce instead.  I eat this often.
  • Dinner: hash browns and scrambled eggs doused with hot sauce
I also had some water and a couple cups of butter toffee coffee!

So now we are at Easter weekend and I am alone.  I know.  The pity.  Husband might be back late tonight or tomorrow but we won't know until just before he comes home.  This makes me not want to make a big dinner for the holiday.  We might have my in laws here on Sunday but won't know until Sunday morning 2 hours before they arrive.  So I sit with a fridge full of odd things and don't know what to eat! For curiosity sake, here is what is in my fridge.  Not EVERYTHING,  but the main things I could easily see.
  • cottage cheese
  • cooked quinoa ( I try to keep this cooked and ready to go all the time.  Super easy to throw into salads, soups, eat on its own and is super healthy and filling.  If it is not made in advance? It slows me down when I am hungry and I won't make it)
  • left over sauce from the haystacks
  • shredded chicken (again, I try to keep this in there most of the time.  For the $8 it costs for an amazing rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, I have about 4 cups of shredded chicken that I can throw into anything! Usually takes 10 minutes to tear apart and get in the fridge but lasts me at least 4 or 5 days.  Or I bag it and freeze it for later)
  • veggies galore: lettuce (3 kinds), tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, onions, red onions, cilantro, thyme, red pepper, celery
  • black beans rinsed and ready to eat
  • corn
  • pineapple in two forms
  • chicken broth
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • sour cream
  • eggs
  • condiments like crazy! Pretty much anything you could ever want to cook with
  • tortillas
  • pesto
  • 15 varieties of cheese.  No joke.  I may have a problem.
And my fridge does not seem full! I tend to not have anything instant in my fridge.  I wrote this list down earlier as a challenge.  Could I come up with something cool out of what is in there? Something unique? So this is what I am thinking.  Keep in mind my brain works in mysterious ways and I have no idea if this will taste good or not.

Take the leftover sauce, add some pesto to it and some more chicken.  Heat it up.  Make mixture of corn and beans and maybe some salsa or cottage cheese even and mix that.  Add an egg.  Layer it in a casserole dish with lasagna noodles.  This could be an interesting mix of Italian and Mexican.  Add some finely sliced red onions and a few kinds of cheese (I actually counted.  Pathetic.  But we love cheese!) and bake it like a lasagna.  I am going to do this.  I will photograph it and let you know how it works out!I also have a jar of green enchilada sauce in there somewhere that I might add to the mix.  Maybe that instead of the pesto? Nah.  I want to try the pesto.

Here's to hoping it tastes amazing! If so? I will add it to my recipe book.  Or just my blog for you guys to try.

I should go though.  I need another cup of amazing coffee and decided to go on the hunt for some boxes today.  Not sure anything is open! But I will look.  We will be moving in the next 3 months anyways to a cheaper place so I may as well start looking into this!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hawaiian Haystacks

I tried these the other day.  Not sure how I feel about them.  I did use the leftover sauce though to make an amazing pasta dish last night!  These are an interesting mix of sweet and meat which is never hugely loved in this house.  I think I would try them again but add more seasoning to the sauce and make it more of a mexican themed thing instead of hawaiian.  Hmmmm..... I will have to try this one again.  But only when Husband is not home.  He is not a fan of things like this.  No fruit/meat combos for that boy!

Melt butter in beautiful Le Creuset pot in an amazing color.  Or just in a pot.  Your choice.

Add flour and make a paste

Add seasonings and broth to make a sauce

Chop things to eat on it

Add chicken (from previously shredded chicken from the other day)

Rice! Put it in a pretty blue bowl.  Or a red one.  Or in something.

Pour sauce/chicken on top

Start to sprinkle in layers your toppings

Add shredded cheese that you shredded on your micro plane to make all curly and cute.  It will make you happier and make it look like there is more!

Hawaiian Haystacks

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
32 ounces reduced sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons of dry Ranch Dressing seasoning packet
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
Steamed rice, enough for your family
Chow Mein Crispy Noodles
sliced green onions
black olives
shredded cheese
1. Place butter into a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring to melt. Slowly whisk in flour, salt and pepper until smooth and thick, for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in chicken broth until smooth. Increase heat to high whisking until thick, about 2 minutes. Add sour cream, Ranch seasoning, garlic salt, and cooked chicken breast. Stir and season accordingly. You may prefer additional, salt, pepper and garlic salt. I transferred this to my crock pot and kept it on low all day until dinner. You can either serve it immediately or crock pot it until you are ready.
2. Place rice on serving plates and top with chicken gravy. Have toppings at the table and top with whatever you like! Have fun!
Makes 4 servings