Monday, January 23, 2012

Finally Feeling Better

I am so glad to be moving on to a new week. Last week just plain sucked. The week before wasn't much better. I just couldn't get well. I tried to sleep but I was too busy being a mom and trying to work. Finally, last Friday, worn down and completely drained, sick & tired, I picked up the girls from school and told them I needed a nap. Three & a half hours later I got up, hubby was home so we went for tacos, came back, tried to settle in and watch a movie and passed out until 8 the next morning where I FINALLY, finally felt a little better. Normally, I would have gone to the doctor but the hubs just started a job in December so we do have insurance but it is pretty bare bones so   nothing is covered until the deductible is met. Nothing, meaning we have to pay full price for a doctor visit so unless it is something major I was just having to heal on my own. I'm sure a nice round of antibiotics would have knocked out whatever I had but I made it through and even though I woke up last night with a bout of coughing that left me awake for an hour or more, I am doing better. I just hate getting sick. It doesn't happen often but it really throws my world into a tailspin. Things just will not get done if I don't do them. Anyway, so back to normal today. The one benefit to being sick was I just wanted to lay around most of the time so I was at least working on the baby blanket. A few more days and I will be done. Good thing because the mom is on bed rest and keeps having pains and I'm pretty sure that this baby is coming early even though it is not technically due for another few weeks. I'm excited to meet this little guy.

Another crazy thing that has occupied way too many thoughts in my head lately is a local man that is sneaking into unlocked doors. Seriously, this is really scary. Less than a mile away in the last few weeks & other instances around my town (a small suburb of Dallas) a man has been going into homes where he is able to gain access easily and he has been found in girl's bedrooms and in one instance even touched a girl's ear. It is very disturbing and it has me more than a little freaked out. Apparently, back in August this was happening and a few streets over the guy was found by the man of the house in his backyard where he was shot at! Now, they think it is the same guy. With my husband going back to school to get his degree he is gone until late at night a few days of the week. Last semester he had similar classes keeping him out late, but I would just go to sleep and he would let me know when he was home, but now I just cannot sleep without him here so I stay up. This kind of ruins my resolution to getting to sleep at a good time every night but I really don't care. Until this guy is caught for sure then I don't feel safe without Corey here. Have any of you had someone like this in your town? It's very unsettling to know that there is a guy walking around & possibly watching you or your children, waiting for a time to come into your home. I am glad that we have a relatively big dog that hopefully would be a deterrent when coming close to our house. I know he would defend us but until this guy is in jail I won't feel safe.

So, now it's back to my regularly scheduled program. I really need to get my workout program back on track because soccer starts in 2 or 3 weeks (still confirming), so I'm off to the gym. Have a good week everyone!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Crochet-A-Long & Other Projects

Just decided I'll be joining a crochet-a-long after I recently received an e-mail from Waverly for Bernat explaining they will be starting one very soon. I've seen these in the past and I thought it would be a great idea but, of course, never got around to doing it. This particular one starts February 15th & goes for a few months with new updates every Wednesday. All the details can be found at Bernat's website but basically you get the e-mail for a block of a blanket to make each week and then you join it together. The best part is you have no idea what it will look like starting out. I love the sound of that. I always love the thought of making a blanket but it is hard to accomplish because you start out with this great idea, but then it starts to take so long that you put it down intending to pick it back up later and then 2 years later you find it buried in the back of your closet. (So hoping that's not just me) Anyway, this way sounds like much more fun to me. I'll be encouraged to finish because I will just have to know how it will turn out. Anyway, it sounds like fun & a good way to learn some new skills along the way. In the past, each block was a different pattern like the one shown on THIS page.

I figure I will post here each week so it will keep me going & maybe some of you can join too? Any takers? I've picked my color palette and I'll be going to the craft store next week & I'll show you the colors of the yarns together once I do my shop. I've got several weeks before it starts but the way time has been moving, I better get it while I have the chance.

Here's a little bit of what I've been doing for the baby blanket I started for a friend. The colors are Silver Blue, White, and Taupe. I'm just loving this color combination!

And, here is a peak of the new crocheted camera covers I'm putting in the shop. Come check out a better view at As Hue Wish:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Doing My Part

Have you heard the news? No, it's not earth-shattering news, but it will make it very hard to stock up on Twinkies if the Zombie Apocalypse does happen: Hostess filed for bankruptcy. You know, the guys who make the aforementioned Twinkies, and also Ho-Hos, Ding Dongs, among others, and well, let's face it, nothing good for us. Yesterday, as I was strolling through Target looking for snacks for Audrey's soccer game today I saw the little yellow 'price cut' sign calling my name and gave in. Don't worry, I'm not giving those little pumped up 7-year-old future soccer stars THAT much sugar after a game. I had thoughts of powdered sugar and coffee for breakfast today. I just feel I have to help them out. I even said out loud "I just feel like I need to buy at least one thing" and as I heard someone answer with "me too" and realize it was actually someone behind me with the same look I probably had, I just knew I had to grab a bag of Donettes for breakfast. Well, because I might not be able to in the future. 

So, that is my long, drawn out excuse for today's bad-for-me breakfast. Is this justification enough? I only ate 3. Okay 4. Geez.

How about when you learn that I followed it immediately with a very healthy banana? I'm pretty sure that offsets it.

Awww, see I knew you would see my side of things. Happy Saturday everyone.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Chinese Steamed Dumplings

I love me some appetizers. So much so, I could make a meal out of them regularly. And that's just we did last night. I'm a big fan of copycat recipes. You know, your favorite foods from restaurants, but cooked at home. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Let me tell you, last night it worked and I'm so excited to have been able to have found this recipe on the first attempt. They were fun and easy to make. Even Audrey, my 7-year-old, enjoyed helping me out.

I often browse this website called Foodgawker. It's a page full of pictures of food and if you click on a picture it will go to the source of that picture, a blog where it almost always give the recipe. So, anyway, cruising Foodgawker and saw a recipe for dumplings, as in Chinese Dumplings and decided I was going to attempt this. I did a search option and brought up all of the recipes for this dish, choosing the most 'hearted'. I figure if everyone else seems to like it then it should be good. I was directed to the food blog First Look, Then Cook. I'm SO saving this website because these turned out amazing, tasted just like my local Chinese food restaurant's dumplings. Yum! 

Below are a few pics of our process & the full recipe is at the bottom.

First gather up your ingredients. BTW, I could not find the wrappers at first and found that many grocery stores keep them in the organic section in the produce aisle. That is exactly where I found them at our local Kroger.

Next, grab a partner and start filling those suckers. Our won-tons were square-shaped so you add about 1/2 tablespoon of the meat mixture to the center of the dumpling. Have a small bowl with water at your ready. Dip your finger in the water & slide along the edge before folding the square into a triangle. We pinched ours out to look more like a dumpling:

We took a large cookie sheet, added parchment paper so they would not stick, and laid them out as we made these cute little bundles:

Next, steam them. There are a few ways you can do this. Corey decided that since there were so many of them we needed a bigger surface then our normal collapsible steamer basket like this, but this will work:

Instead, he took our griddle, added lots of water, a small cookie sheet with a cookie rack resting on the edges and viola, we had ourselves a super steamer. We were able to do them in 2 batches at 12 minutes a piece:

Corey whipped up some fried rice with lots of veggies and here ya go. This was our dinner:

Like I said, they dumplings turned out amazing, and the kids could  not get enough!

Chinese Dumplings


  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lb of ground pork
  • 1/2 can water sliced chestnuts
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons minced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-4 tablespoons cilantro
  • 1 package dumpling wrappers (we used won-ton wrappers)

  • soy sauce
  • rice wine
  • scallions
  • ginger

Start food processor and add garlic while running. Add the rest of the ingredients and run processor until well-blended. Place 1/2 tablespoon into the dumpling wrapper. Dip finger in water and trace over half of wrapper. Fold wrapper together and make sure it is sealed. At this point, the dumplings may be frozen or cooked immediately. When ready to cook, layer steamer with cabbage leaves or parchment paper and place dumplings in a single layer onto paper/leaves and cook 20 minutes if frozen, or 12 minutes for fresh. 

For sauce add equal parts soy sauce and rice wine. Then add minced scallions and grated ginger to your liking.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bummer Day

Most days I wake up and everything is great, or at least good. Today is not one of those days. I have been reflecting all day about my life. I have a job where I sit and type all day and so my mind tends to wander. Sometimes, I try not to do that because I start obsessing or feeling bad about something but I guess it's because I'm sick and just feeling like crap that everything really just seems to suck today. I don't really have any reason to think my life sucks but right now, at this very moment it does. I feel like dog poop and all I want to do is lie down and take a nap. But I can't. I have work to do. I can't call in sick. I work at home. If I had a job outside of the house I probably would call in sick but I don't and so I'll sit in my jeans and sweatshirt and type away, and daydream about laying in bed and sleeping my sick away.

I think what bums me out lately is just that I look at everyone and feel like they have everything together. I mean, I have lots of lists and schedules and things I should be doing but I see everyone else and they are lovely and talented and can speak without second guessing everything they say like I do. and I hate it. I can't seem to get anything accomplished without struggling. I don't know why I'm different and can't ever get anything done. I'm constantly busy but I look back at the end of the day sometimes and wonder what I really did. I don't watch TV all day, sometimes not more than 30 minutes all day. I procrastinate here and there but not significant amounts of time. Then I start wondering what I would do if I weren't sitting and typing all day? You know that question where someone asks if money were no object what would you do and that is supposed to be the profession you should go into? Well, I always blank out with that one. I don't want to commit to one thing, which means I haven't committed to anything. I like lots of things and do a little bit of everything, but it changes quickly and I worry to pick something and then hate it. Then I worry that I've wasted this much of my life just not committing to one thing. Today, I want to sleep that's all. I also want to crochet my friend's baby blanket. I just started it and the colors are awesome. So, I guess there is something I would do today if I weren't typing my life away, but tomorrow it will likely change. *sigh*

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Better Late Than Never

Okay, I know I'm a little behind on the resolution thing but it doesn't mean I don't have goals set in place yet. I have them in mind but it's always good to get them down. I think writing things down and letting other people know what your goals are keeps you more accountable. At least it does for me. I just can't stand telling people I'm going to do something and I don't do it! So here we go:

1. This is THE most important one for me: Get to bed at a reasonable time! I tend to stay up late because my girls aren't in bed until 8:30 & 9. After that is mine and Corey's time and I tend to extend it out because it's when I finally am finished with things for the day and get to stop moving and relax a little. However, I am so exhausted by the end of the week I can't even stay up to enjoy the weekends without a nap or just being out of it, so I think I can get more accomplished and just feel better all around by getting to bed earlier. I even set the alarm on my phone to go off at 10:30 so I know that is when I need to start heading to the bedroom. So far so good!

2. I want to make a goal. Ha. My goal is to make a goal. No, I'm not going bonkers, I'm talking soccer, baby! I joined up for another season. I have played a total of 1 season my whole life and that was last summer. That is the first time I have ever played and I loved it but I knew the fall would be super hectic so I decided not to sign up. Well, I was asked to join up again and I accepted. So now, going to the gym has a another purpose besides just working out. I aim to get at least one this season! Part of that is getting out of the holiday 'eating too much' routine and back to healthier options. I'll be doing another post soon with how I stay fit with what works for me, food & exercise wise so stay tuned on that. (& you're welcome for the eye candy below)

3. I have started a cleaning routine I hope sticks because it seems to be working. This is one area of my life I have never been able to get under control. I can clean, but then life gets in the way and everything else comes before it and I am totally overwhelmed again. I've realized though, a messy house gives me anxiety and then no one in the house is happy when Mom is stressed out! So, I have been doing a routine I found in Pinterest, which is from another blog, My 3 Monsters. She advises you to write down what fits your house but what she has down, for the most part, fits what needs cleaning in my house too, so I'm just following it and I have seen a nice change already.

Source: via Nikki on Pinterest

4. Floss. Well, that one is self-explanatory but I'll confess I went a long time without going to the dentist. Last Spring I finally went after (mumble, mumble) years and I also got my wisdom teeth pulled last summer. I am very happy to report that my teeth are in MUCH better shape then they were when I first went in last year but I really have to force myself to floss every night. I don't know why I have such a hard time with it. But, hey, I have it down on here so now everyone knows so I have to, right?
Source: via Nikki on Pinterest

5. CRAFTS & BLOG: Last year I realized I needed to do something creative. I feel like it is just IN me and so I got some things done, created my Etsy shop, and started this blog. Even though it gets pushed back sometimes with everything going on in this girl's crazy life, I still constantly strive to do more and learn more. It's hard to set specific creative goals because sometimes ideas just come to you. But, I can set aside time to make more items that I have already created patterns for so I will continue with those. A friend of mine asked if I would like to do a craft show this summer with her and I said YES! So, besides getting back to adding more items into my Etsy, I am going to be working on some new things that would sell better in the summer and get those started soon so I can have a good stock by the summer. As for the blog, well, I am going to continue to post, starting to add more recipes because I have realized I haven't really been doing that as well as more of what I've done in the past.

So, the blogging continues. I won't plan out every minute but it is nice to have some goals don't you think? I look forward to being more creative and doing more with my family and friends. Trying to remember I can do anything I want to do, but I can't do everything at the same time.