Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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30.  Today I'm thankful for how beautiful our Christmas tree is.  It just warms my heart and makes any troubles or sad times just wash away.  :)

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29.  I'm thankful for online shopping.  Specifically Amazon.  Because really, where else can you get such a wide variety of products?  I searched their website for the last few presents I needed to pick up and it was just so easy.  Love that. 

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28. On this day I was thankful to have a job that I enjoy to return to after spending time with the people I love.

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27. On this day I was thankful for cars and highways.  Although it took us 11 hours to get home I tried to think positively and imagine how stinkin' long it would take if we had a horse and buggy.  I mean really, how did people travel back in the day?  That would take for-ev-er.

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26. On this day I was very thankful for my immediate family.  While it was great to see a lot of people on Thanksgiving day, it was very rushed so that we could see everyone.  It was nice to just hang out with my family and run errands on Saturday.  And we picked up a Christmas tree.  And decorated it!  Love ya'll!

last Christmas

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25. On this day I was just down right thankful for some good shopping deals!  (Side-eye to Macy's--your coupons sucked)  Yes, I'm a Black Friday shopper. I was just raised that way.  Sorry you didn't know it earlier.  It's a pretty awesome thing.

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24. On this day I was obviously thankful for Thanksgiving.  What a great day to be reminded of all the wonderful people and things in my life.  Oh, and the delicious food didn't hurt either.

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Looks like I've got a lot of thankfulness to catch up on...

23. On this day (11/23) I was thankful for our arrival in NC.  When you cross that state line, you know you're home.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

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22. I'm thankful for sunshine.  Which we haven't had around here since I don't know when...

Monday, November 21, 2011

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21. I'm thankful for online shopping.  It just makes things so dang easy.

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20. I'm thankful to have a healthy, fully functioning body

your daily quote

 In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.

John Bunyan

Saturday, November 19, 2011

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19. Today I'm thankful for John.  I love this man.  He's really great and pretty handsome too :)  Happy birthday to my awesome husband!  Seriously, have we celebrated 6 of his birthdays together?  Yes, we have.  Where does the time go?

(he did not willingly pose for this photo)

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18. Today I'm thankful for Dixie.  I know I listed being thankful for her last year, so you can call it a repeat but I think it just means I'm double thankful.

Here's the latest Dixie story: John has been playing football with friends the last couple of hours.  I'm at home baking his birthday cupcakes.  I conveniently forgot cupcake liners when I went to the grocery store 1.5 hrs earlier.  I quickly set the alarm (yes, I'm a spaz), lock the door and dash to the car to make a quick trip for freaking cupcake liners.  While I'm in the store chatting on the phone with a friend I notice that ADT is beeping in.  I frantically click over and the sweet lady basically says that our "alarm has gone off and can she send the police?".  I'm thinking "umm I was in our house 3 minutes ago, what the heck" then I ask "can you tell me what sensor it was that set off the alarm?" to which she replies "the living room window".  Heart rate slows down a little and I tell her "oh don't worry about it, that's just my dog barking at the window, everything's OK, thanks".  Really?  I'm gone for 3 minutes.  She sets off the alarm barking at God knows what...probably a squirrel...or some leaves blowing through the yard.  When I get home I stare at her and say "way to go, champ" to which she ignores the jab and barks and wiggles wildly because ohmygodthankgoodnessimnotaloneanymore!  Neurotic.  For the remainder of baking time she randomly barks at the mailman/leaves/squirrels/neighbor sweeping porch outside like they're all aliens just waiting to attack our home.  Oh and she barks at me because she really really really wants a sausage ball (also for John's birthday).  But right now all of that just melts away because you really can't beat the feeling of a dog laying their head on your lap and wanting to be scratched when you sit down on the couch with your laptop.  Like, I type very quietly because I don't want her to jump up and leave this spot (which she has done at the point in the post...grrr...) because these times are few and far between and so precious.  Dixie, you make me so happy even though you are really super crazy.  I wouldn't have you any other way, precious girl. :)

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17. I'm thankful for the joy I get from baking.  Like, if I could pay for things in cookies and cupcakes I totally would.  I've been baking since 10:30 today and I couldn't be happier.  Well, if some of my favorite people were with me I guess I could be a little happier...but that will happen soon enough :)

your daily quote

You can never be overdressed or over-educated.

Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

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16. Today I'm thankful for The Big Bang Theory.  We started watching this a couple months ago and it brings me so much joy.  Mostly because I can totally relate.  If you're a geek or you have a geek that you love, this show is worth checking out.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

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15. Today I'm thankful for the way small children talk.  I love the stuff they come up with and the way they say it.  Precious.

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14. Edy's Peppermint ice cream.  I. LOVE. THIS. STUFF.  It's Christmas all up in your mouth.

Thanks to ABby for telling me about it.  Thanks to Pallas for encouraging me to make the plunge and buy it.

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13. I'm thankful for people who are crafty and the crafts they create.  Also, I'm jealous. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

quick, easy, healthy meal ideas

  1.  Pesto grilled cheese sandwich.  Great way to fancy up a grilled cheese.
  2. Crunchy cajun chicken fingers.  One tweak: next time I'll use 2 tbsp. cajun seasoning instead of her suggested 3 tbsp.  It was a little too cajuny.
  3. Pork and brussels sprouts stir fry
  4. Buttermilk baked chicken
  5. Family style calzone
  6. Easy chicken pesto pizza
These have been a few of my faves lately.  As I think of more, I'll post them.

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12. Today I'm thankful for modern technology.

meal plan

Call me neurotic.  Call me a planner.  Call me a spaz.  But I like to think that I am very productive when I have a weekly meal plan for us.  This little thing came to life when I was sick of eating whatever we had on hand (i.e. steamed broccoli and scrambled eggs don't go great together and they get old after awhile), tired of making multiple trips to the grocery store throughout the week and not wanting to make healthy recipes that take an hour before you can even tell what the end product will be. 

Introduce: the meal plan.

I know this is nothing mind blowing nor is it anything new, people have been doing this forever.  But it's new to me.  So, I drew up a google document (spreadsheet) and now (attempt to) plan out each week of meals. I usually do this on Saturday or Sunday so that I can go to the grocery store and make sure I have everything I need for the coming week.  It's cost effective.  The meals I choose are quick and easy to make.  I feel like I have a grasp on what's going into our bodies every night.  And we have a healthy meal each night of the week.  Win-win-win. 

So I'm here to tell you that if you're tired of getting home after a long day of work, don't know what to cook, want something healthy and you're almost ready to admit should totally do a meal plan.  You'll feel like you have some control over meal time, you're using your money in an effective way and you're giving your body (and your family's bodies) the respect they deserve by providing healthy meals.

Here are some of my favorite sites to discover meal ideas each week:
1. Plain Chicken
2. Cooking Light
3. Skinny Taste
4. Allrecipes
5. Rachael Ray Magazine
6. Pinterest  
7. How Sweet It Is

Also, when I type the name of a dish I'm making in Google documents I add the link to the recipe so I'm able to access the recipe and not spend another 10 minutes hunting it down in my browser history.

colonizing the cosmos

Colonizing the Cosmos is a local Pittsburgh band that I saw last year at a Halloween show with my friend, Pallas.  I really enjoyed listening to them but had kind of forgotten about them.  Then I heard them on the radio the other night and remembered how much I enjoyed their music, especially this song.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

your daily quote

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

Dr. Seuss

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11.  I'm going to be real predictable here and say that I'm thankful for all of our veterans and their families.  I mean seriously, these people are awesome!  Thank you so much for putting your lives on the line for our freedom!  And thank you to all of the families that sacrifice so that their loved ones are able to be great soldiers and serve our country well.  We will never be able to do enough to repay you.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

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10. I'm thankful for Christmas music.  That's right, I started listening to it yesterday.  It just brings me so much joy.  I'm going to limit myself until Thanksgiving and then it's full on Christmas music, all the time.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

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9.  Today I'm thankful for really good customer service.  Thank you, Amazon. 

your daily quote

found here

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

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8. Today I'm thankful for frozen yogurt.  Yummy!  Even if it does make my stomach feel a little uneasy afterwards.  Large dairy intake = not good.

Monday, November 7, 2011

your daily quote

Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow.

Fernanda Miramontes-Landeros

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7. Today I am thankful for television and the entertainment it provides.  Just keepin it real here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

rachael ray's pork and brussels sprouts stir fry

I'm not a huge fan of pork but it was on sale buy one get one so I figured I could find a recipe that I could choke down.  And I opened my Everyday with Rachael Ray mag and found this!  I'm sharing it with you because this is hands down the best Chinese dish I've ever made!  It's really the sauce.  And the brussels sprouts.  I could do without the pork and sub in chicken.  But really, the sauce is like the sauce in Chinese restaurants!  Seriously, it's super easy, you probably already have almost all the stuff, it's cheap and you should totally give it a try!  Here, I'll even post the recipe right below...


3 tbsp oil
1/2 lb. boneless pork loin chops, cut into 1/4 in.-thick-strips
1 lb. brussels sprouts, halved (I used frozen because my grocery store didn't have fresh)
2 scallions, whites and greens sliced separately 
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 c. soy sauce
2 tbsp. brown sugar

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add pork and cook until golden; transfer to plate. Add remaining 2 tbsp. oil and sprouts to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until brown and tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add scallion whites and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add soy sauce, brown sugar and 1/4 cup water; cook until sauce is slightly thickened. Return pork to pan and toss to coat. Top with scallion greens.

(recipe and photo cred to Everyday with Rachael Ray...again, because I'm lazy and can't take my own pictures)

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6. I'm going to get real sweet on ya and say that today I'm thankful for quality time with my husband.  (A lot of quality time is going on around here, right?)  We took Crazy for a hike today in Ohiopyle (like this time last year).  It was great to be in the middle of nowhere (although, I was a little scared that a mountain crazy would come out of nowhere and get us, normal fear, right?) with no one else around.  Nothing to do but walk, look around, listen and talk.  It was really nice and I do (surprisingly) enjoy hikes.  Just not the major uphill portions.  But I can push through those and call it a work out.  Anyway, our time together was very refreshing.  And that's enough sappiness for today. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

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5. Today I'm thankful for quality time with old friends.  Lunch and great conversation, enough said :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

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4. Today I am thankful for red wine.  I love red wine.  Doesn't matter if it's Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Shiraz or whatever the newest kind may be.  It's always been my preference.  I think it's because I grew up in a house with both parents loving red wine, maybe it's just in my genes. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

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3. Today I'm super thankful for my cousin Abby!  That girl always be making me laugh and she has a great way of making me feel loved :)

Happy Birthday Abigail Boo Boo and Will of Fortune!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

your daily quote

hmm.  found here

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2. Today I'm thankful for bluegrass music.  I was blessed to be given two last minute tickets to a bluegrass concert tonight.  John couldn't go, but I was able to take a close second, my sweet friend Pallas.  And man, do I really like bluegrass!  It feels like home to me.  Except home to me should feel like beach music (which is definitely true, love me some shag music) so I guess it's those good ol' Tennessee vibes I get from John and his people.  I can get down to some bluegrass! :)

thankful days

So, since this is the month of Thanksgiving I'm going to participate in stating what I'm thankful for each day (may be a day late, but whatever), so yay!  The thankfulness is in no particular order, just what strikes me as being particularly thankful for that day. 

And for yesterday...

1. I'm thankful for cool, crisp, fall-like weather.