Thursday, January 29, 2009


  • Last night for dinner, I ate four blueberry pancakes and a piece of red velvet cake. No low-carb diets for me! At least, blueberries are a superfood, right?
  • I really like the Pink song, "So What?" It comes on every morning on my way to work, and I sing it at the top of my lungs. Then I feel bad because she's singing about divorcing her husband. I definitely don't want a divorce, but the song is so darn catchy!
  • Instead of going to my balance ball workout class last night, I just sat on my balance ball at home and read. In my defense, I was feeling kind of sick, but after the pancakes, I probably should have gone.

There, I feel better. :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lost Cause

Please believe me when I tell you I spent several hours yesterday cleaning my kitchen. It was clean and sparkling. Here it is today (and this is after I cleaned up some):

Yes, I did use 8 knives, the kitchen shears, and a mandoline to prepare a pork loin, scalloped potatoes, and a chopped salad. I have a very bad habit of using a knife and tossing it in the sink. Then, I realize I need it again, but I don't want to grab a dirty knife out of the sink. Before long, my knife block is empty.

Why do I even try?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy. Friday.

This weekend, I'm looking forward to:
  • Darby picking me up from work. He took me to work this morning so that he could take the car to get an oil change. I love spending the extra 20 minutes with him in the car.
  • Young Marrieds get-together tonight (and eating one of the red velvet cupcakes I'm making for it)
  • Baby-sitting our friends' from church 4-year-old daughter on Saturday. (She calls Darby "Army"... precious!)
  • Eating breakfast out on Saturday. Now that we have settled in here and have stable income, Darby and I are going to resurrect our Saturday morning breakfast dates. We started last weekend with donuts. Yum!
I feel very happy lately. I don't want to be THAT girl who's always blogging about how great her life is, but I can't help but share my enthusiasm. I've been trying to consciously take more time to think about all I have to be grateful for, and it has definitely made me a happier person. I've always had a great life, but I used to just always be anticipating the next thing. If it was Wednesday, I wanted it to be Saturday; if it was summer, I wanted school to start; if I was in high school, I wanted to be in college, etc. I'm trying to live more in the moment and think about all of the good things that are going on RIGHT NOW. And guess what? There's a lot! So sorry if you get tired of reading all of my boring posts about how happy I am. I just can't help it! I hope all of you have many things to look forward to this weekend, as well.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

You know you're an editor when...

1. You have whiteout stains all over your hands.
2. You have not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 red pens open on your desk.
3. You can no longer read magazines or newspapers without noticing the tiniest mistakes like "hyphen stacks" (three or more hyphens in a row at the end of the column). And, yes, that is a mistake, at least according to our house style.
4. You start correcting people when they say "proofreading" when they mean "copyediting" and vice-versa. (I'm trying not to become this person. I really am!)
5. You start looking at your husband's textbooks to see who published and packaged them. Maybe it was your company (how cool!) And if it wasn't, you can get ideas on how to handle tricky tables and lists. :)

If I wasn't already the ultimate nerd, this job is pushing me closer every day! I knew I just had to post when I saw those 4 red pens on my desk. I have no idea how I managed to use every single one of them during the course of the day!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Snowed In (I wish!)

We had our first significant snow last night (about 4 1/2 inches). This was the first time that it was actually necessary to shovel the driveway before pulling out. Driving down our street was an adventure! It doesn't get plowed because it's a dead end. Good thing I have an SUV! It would have been so nice to have a snow day, but, unfortunately, I think we would have to get over a foot of snow for that to happen. I do prefer driving on snow to driving on ice, though. The hardest part was just that I couldn't see the dividing lines on the road, so I had no idea if I was in my lane or not.

For those of you who hear about all of the horrible weather in Chicago, I want you to know that our weather is not normally that severe. Chicago gets A LOT more snow because it is on the lake. And it is generally 10-15 degrees colder there. (Although, our high tomorrow is -1, with a wind chill of -25). Yikes!

There are some upsides to cold weather, though—one of them being the chance to eat a lot of soups and stews! I always plan our meals at least a week in advance, so usually in Abilene my soup plans would go something like this: We'd have a cold snap, and I'd think, "Ooohh, next week, I'm going to make soup for us." So I'd buy all the stuff the next time I was at the store, and by the time "soup day" came around, it was 80 degrees. Not so here! I can count on it being at least mildly cold, if not frigid, every single day. Perfect soup weather (and hot chocolate weather....mmmm)! Here's a new soup recipe I've fallen in love with:

Mushroom Corn Chowder
Adapted from Taste of Home
Serves: 4 (as main dish)

1-2 cups thinly sliced carrots
1-2 cups sliced white mushrooms
1 cup diced celery
1 1/2 cup frozen corn
2-3 green onions, chopped (optional)
1/2 stick butter or margarine
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I like to use the low-fat, reduced-sodium kind, and it still tastes great.)
1 soup can milk
1/2 cup cubed ham (optional) Darby thinks every soup should contain meat, so this ingredient is not optional for us!
4 oz. Velveeta, cubed
Salt and pepper, to taste

Note: I don't ever measure vegetables. Just throw in whatever amount looks good to you or whatever you have on hand. I like my soups chunky, so if you prefer a more "brothy" soup, use less.

Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add veggies and saute 10-15 minutes or until desired tenderness. Stir in soup, milk, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer about 10 minutes. Add Velveeta and stir until melted. This is so easy and good and not too unhealthy for a creamy soup.

Now, if you're like me, you can't have soup without bread. It's a crime. But, since I work, I don't usually have time to make bread on weeknights. And I'm trying to get away from buying loaves of bread at the store because they're usually too big for two people, and I forget to freeze the leftovers and end up throwing it all out. What's a bread-lover to do? Enter my friend and fabulous chef Kalyn with a perfect quick, homemade bread solution. She made these little rolls for us when we went to visit, and I looked up a similar recipe online. They take no time at all and are really, really good!

Mayonnaise Muffins (sounds gross, but you can't taste the mayonnaise)

1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp. mayonnaise

Stir together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Spoon into 6 greased muffin cups. Bake at 425 degrees 10-12 minutes. The rolls are little, so this amount is perfect for 2-3 people. It can easily be doubled to feed more.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Best Wednesday Ever!

A while back, I posted about how much I hate Wednesdays. Well, yesterday, I might have found a cure. It involved: Papa John's pizza, good friends, ice skating, homemade pumpkin pie lattes, chocolate, board games, and Darby hopped up on caffeine playing the guitar and singing in bed while I was reading a really good book I got over Christmas. And all of this was after a full day of work (I actually had to stay a little late), a trip to the bank, and a stop at the dry cleaners. I don't know that my energy level, bank account, or waistline can accommodate such exciting Wednesdays, but I'm glad I now know what it takes to make Wednesday fun.

Monday, January 05, 2009


I have a confession: I LOVE making New Year's resolutions. It really appeals to the planning side of me. Now actually keeping the resolutions? Not so much. I prefer to spend hours picking out the perfect resolution, another few hours writing out a schedule in my planner, and then almost no time actually implementing the plan. :) This year, I am trying a new tactic; I made my resolution something I was probably going to do anyway. Darby gave me a really cool herb garden starter for Christmas. I've been keeping a parsley plant alive for the past few months, and I really want to try more herbs. Then from my mom I got a book about container gardening and a precious little sign that says "Herbs make good scents." So now that I have all the stuff, I have to follow through! I'm not going to start the seeds until the weather gets warmer, but come spring I will hopefully have tons of fresh herbs and maybe even some vegetables.

A couple other goals I am going to try to work toward this year. (I'm not going to call them resolutions, for fear of jinxing myself.)
1. Keeping the house clutter-free. We have more than enough room for all our stuff, but not everything has a place. Or, rather, I don't always put everything in its place. I'm trying to slowly remedy that.
2. Cooking and eating more veggies. I'm really bad about including vegetables in our dinners, and I don't really have an excuse. They're easy and cheap. Hopefully, growing my own vegetables will help with this.