Friday, June 29, 2012

Pin & Do

This summer I have made it my mission to actually DO the stuff I pin on Pinterest. Because yes, I pin a lot. I was inspired by the lovely Siobhan of Hello Flower and her feature 'Pin & Do." I realized it really is pointless to pin unless you actually use the stuff. Otherwise you're just collecting digital clutter. Which, as an aspiring minimalist, I shudder at. So far here are the recipes I've made:


 (Since the meal plan is longer mandatory for me!)

I've also created a few things too. Here they are:

(Though mine turned out a lot less appealing... I used two purple colors and a light pink, ran out of string before I finished, and the little spirals aren't as uniform as the ones above. I might take it all off and try again).
(Couldn't find any silver glitter or light light blue or green. I made a turquoise one and dark blue). 

I also put gold glitter+clear nail polish on the top of my house key. It's so pretty. I don't have the Pinterest link anymore, though. 

Not inspired by Pinterest (for once), I tie dyed to my heart's content the other day. I made the blue one for my dad, the purple/blue and pink/blue for my mom and the one I made for myself is being modeled by Jet above. I have also been dying to tie dye my white bag for like two years and I finally did it. The colors are kind of runny and I'm considering splattering some bleach on it to break it all up but overall, I'm happy with how everything turned out. 

Yesterday mainly consisted of making the crockpot mac&cheese, Derby pie, and catching up on my summer reading. I've been pretty much cooped up in the house since I've been on pain meds for my phantom abdomen malady and because, as I'm sure most of you know, it's like 104 degrees out. Actual temperature there. I like the little 'ecard' that says, "Who turned the thermostat to HELL?" It pretty much feels like it.

I realize that I don't feel content unless I'm making something. I have done so much cooking and trying out new things this summer. I love to know there are things that work, some things that don't, and some things that are just okay. The mac&cheese was delicious--I should've turned it off earlier but the recipe called for 3-4 hours. I think it was done by 2 when I took it out at 2:30. I'm more of a creamy mac&cheese gal. The Derby pie was pretty good too although the crust will never compare to the real thing...

The black bean and quinoa burgers are surprisingly filling. My mom wasn't feeling well and I heated her up a couple for work and she said they gave her so much energy and made her sick-feeling go away. We named them the 'Magical Healing Burgers.' The avocado spread on top is basically a healthier version of guacamole that I've made three times this summer with avocado, sliced tomatoes, paprika, pepper, and a pinch of salt. 

The Greek salad was another hit. Next time I think I'll include less onion and chop up the tomatoes a bit more. Also, don't add the cheese, croutons, or dressing until ready to serve!

I'm sort of on the fence about the chickpea salad wraps. They were good but not great. I think there was just too much celery, onion, and dill for me.

The chickless pot pie was delicious. Who knew you could make a hearty pot pie with vegetable stock and soy milk? I tried making homemade pot pie before and failed because the gravy refused to thicken. Not so in this case! The gravy was so thick and delicious. You could barely even tell it was vegan.

Up next, I think I'm going to try a couple of foot-improvement remedies and a recipe for muffins that only need Greek yogurt, bananas, oats, and like, baking powder. I love foods with the least amount of ingredients possible. I hope to eat more 'clean' and closer to nature in the future but right now I'd say I'm at a good start!

Little Big Town

Hello friends, it's been awhile.

This summer I've been working, traveling to the boonies, making things from Pinterest and generally trying to improve my life. I'm supposed to be on vacation this week but I've spent most of my time in and out of doctor's offices. I've been having pain in my upper left abdomen that two doctors suspected to be kidney-stone related. After a CT and KUB, the phantom malady did not present itself. If it doesn't go away after my kidney stone surgery on 7/9 then I'll have to go back to my regular doctor.

Scott took these pictures while we were trying to figure out why my camera won't focus. It turns out I have an internal auto focus issue and have to send it out for repair. I love my Canon so much... I just want him to get better.

In other news, I made my own chana masala from scratch on a bed of basmati rice. It wasn't too bad for a first try. I would've liked it to be a bit more...liquidy...which is strange, since I'm usually more about dry foods. However, I was missing a few ingredients that I tried three different grocery stores for with no success. Indian food is just the bomb. Why you no have it grocery store?

This was the first picture I took with my new Samsung camera. I sort of got it as a replacement since my Canon is out of commission and because I wanted to get a smaller camera to carry around for impromptu photo shoots. I'm sure most people with dSLRs can relate to not wanting to tote around a huge camera all the time. 

Oh! And it was taken in the car en route to my first family reunion of the summer. The three-hour trip wasn't much at all because we stopped a few times at rest stops and gas stations and made a lot of jokes about body parts and such.

Family reunions are always interesting. There were a bunch of tables out with old pictures from my mom's side of the family. It's weird to look into their faces and realize I wouldn't have been born if they hadn't.

Here I am with my faithful camera man, Scott. At one point, he had three cameras, trying to take pictures for my family. I was really happy he was there to help alleviate some of the awkwardness of meeting some of my family for the first time ever and some for the first time in about fifteen years.


The reunion happened to be on the same day as my grandpa's birthday. I made the little poster up top and got him the coat of arms for his surname (and my mom's maiden name). He seemed to be in good spirits even though he didn't really recognize anybody. 

My grandma has the prettiest hydrangeas outside her house. I couldn't resist. Blue are my favorite...but purple are a close second.

And last but not least... we had to get a picture of Scott in front of a local landmark...BIG JOHN. All we could think of was the local commercials for 'Little John' who runs a pawn shop in Louisville close to Churchill Downs. He makes the most ridiculous commercials and we kept singing them only to replace 'little' with 'big.' 

We're goiiinnn to Biiiig John's today!

P.S. Don't ever stay at a hotel in Harrisburg, Illinois. You WILL be frightened of bed bugs and you WILL be told to exit the pool at 9PM sharp. And an Indian man will serenade you at breakfast with his cell phone.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Good Day for Earl Grey

Today was unseasonably cold, so I knew Home Depot would stick me out in the garden department. But Scott brought me a warm cup of Earl Grey and my woes disappeared! He waited for me to get out for an hour so he could show me his "surprise."

Turns out it was a sweet pink tennis racket since I've been talking about how much I've been wanting to play tennis! So we went to Tom Sawyer Park and played for awhile even though I was rocking cowboy boots. 

The moral of the story is, ladies, thank your boyfriends for surprises. 

Well, the good ones, anyway. Don't thank them if they surprise slap you with a salmon or something.