Thursday, November 14, 2019

Test results that gives relief, parking shelter & the blind man is on a roll! {Thankful Thursday #246}

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This week I am Thankful for:

Back to work
I really dont mind coming back to work. I really love my job & I really like a routine & schedule so I'm grateful I have a great job to come back to.

Work load fast to catch up
Its always scary to be out knowing how many emails I can get in a regular day & the work that has to be done each day.  But my coworkers are awesome & had me in good shape getting back. Granted, i still had 188 emails to go through, but I was able to get 95% caught up by the end of Monday.

Ricky Test results
We had a little bit of a scare with Ricky after some test results... but his family doctor calmed us down & told us not to freak out.  He had some tests re-run on him & those results came back SO MUCH BETTER!!!!!  We got an explanation on what could have happened - & we were just so relieved, I cant even begin to tell you.  Such a reminder to never take your health or each day for granted!!!

Praying friends
While we waited for these test results, I am so grateful for a group of faithful praying friends who held us up to God!!!

Birthday Bagels
Panera bagels are work to celebrate birthdays is always a good way to start a morning!

Coffee Chats
We had planned a get together at our coffee meeting spot for our youth girls.  Well, all but one could make it. Even the other leader couldnt make it. So I walked in & there was one young lady.  Let me tell you, she's had some challenges lately & honestly, it was just lovely to sit for an hour & hear how life has been for her lately & discuss some of the challenges & cheer for the good that has happened lately too.  I always say that when numbers for events or group arent what I think they'll be, its OK - its exactly God's perfect timing for the conversations to happen that need to.

Early workouts
I did it... I made it through a week of getting up earlier & working out BEFORE work. I dont like to do it, but when I was on vacation, I was up at 5am & thought, its not too bad - I can do that. I just have to go to bed around 10pm. With it being darker earlier, I want to get in bed around 7pm anyways - so I challenged myself...  & it's working out well. For now anyways. My favorite part? I dont have to squeeze it in after I get home, making dinner super late & of course, every day seems to have something thrown at me when I get off work so I end up missing so many workouts.  It's just nice to have it checked off my to-do list by 6am.  Let's see if I can keep it up & if I adjust to this being a habit!

Parking Garage
So I hate to pay even more for parking, but I am glad a spot opened up in our parking garage that is attached to our building.  Mainly because winter is coming. It's frigid walking in downtown where the wind is extra super strength anyways, but when its freezing? YUCK. Plus, when it snows & is icy, I am terrified of walking down the sidewalks & across the streets.  Now, I dont have to worry about it. Nor walking in monsoon rains. I just park in the garage that is attached to our building. NICE!!!! Plus, its not a public parking - whereas the garage I was in before, it was parking for a Convention Center. Try leaving work when a convention gets out & there's a few hundred people parking in your garage that have to pay to leave. I've sat in the garage for over an hour trying to get out. Not cool. ... so yeah, I'll pay a little more for the convenience.

Devotional mail
My sweet friend Christina is just the best at loving others through snail mail. I got an envelope from her that had a copy of a devotional that she had come across. It was very similar to the post I did HERE on being kind to others.... It was just a joy to sit & read this beautiful devotional that someone took the time to send me.  I've now got it tucked away in my Bible to reflect back on time  & time again!

Ricky finally got Bruno's new little wheels together ... what an interesting creation. We'll see if it works for him.  Right now, he just tends to go in circles. LOL!!! But at least he's moving, right? Better than just sitting in one spot & staring into the wall... he's blind. Doesnt matter where he's staring actually.  We're hoping he gets used to it & learns to trust the back part of this holding him up & learn to go straight. We're going to work with him on it with a leash... but if anything, its good to see him moving. Let's just hope he doesnt get dizzy.

Family visits
We got a phone call that Ricky's sister & her husband were going to come over to try out our inversion table.  We rarely get family visitors our in the country so it was a fun surprise.  I just love these two & it was great seeing them & chatting the evening away.  They even brought their son's new dog & hello - we love a dog over here in Greenville!  I loved it too that Melissa got to go with me to see the horses & get to visit with my momma for a little bit.  See, Greenville is a good place to come visit.

Sharing Starbucks Holiday cups
If you didnt know, the Starbucks holiday cups came out last week.  They had on the release day if you got there early & ordered a Holiday drink, you got a free cup.  I was going to stop but it was a rainy morning & glad I didnt stop because traffic was a bear.  Me & my work sister was talking about how we both didnt get one & FOMO... which is a funny topic when you use it for Starbucks cups.  So she text me the next day & said she let FOMO get to her & she had a surprise for me.  She had gone in & got the holiday iced drink cups that come in a 4 pack.  All the cups were super cute- but she let me pick one for myself! How cute is that??? So now, I want to have all my iced coffees in this cup for the Holidays.

What good things are happening in your week?

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Show Us Your Books {November 2019}

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I got to join in for a fun blog hop yesterday so I'm a day late on my book post.
... but better late than never, right?

36344555. sy475 All We Ever Wanted / Emily Giffin
*** / Liked It

Quick Summary:  A photo comes out that links a wealthy family's child to violating a girl who has a ordinary life with a single father & the families struggle to deal with the situation.

I didnt know what this book was about or where it was headed by reading the summary on the book cover.  This was just tough to read after watching 13 Reasons Why Season 3 & seeing what violating someone does to the victim & those around them.

I just like the ease of Emily Giffin's writing - always have.  I also enjoyed the different POV in this as well.

I left the book with a heavy heart & feeling frustrated at the things that happen in this world with social status & privilege & how those who are violated get swept under the rug & live with a fear of voicing truth.  It's reality though.

“Justice isn’t only about what a person deserves, but also about what a person needs.”

41150382Things to Save in a Fire
**** / Really Liked it

Quick Summary:  A female firefighter moves home to take care of a mother who left her when she was 16 & she has to prove herself to a new firehouse of men while also training a Rookie.

I didnt think I was going to like this book in the first chapter, but it took a quick turn & I was hooked.
I am finding I like the ease of Katherine Center's writing.  

This book touches on forgiveness & a woman's struggle of making it in a man's world.  I love Cassie - a real tough woman character.

Also love just the little nod to How to Walk Away.  Catch it in that first chapter if you read it.

“Choosing to love—despite all the ways that people let you down, and disappear, and break your heart. Knowing everything we know about how hard life is and choosing to love, anyway.. That’s not weakness, that’s courage.”

41812813. sy475 The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs

Quick Summary:  A young tenure professor finds out she's a direct descendant of witches back to the days of Salem.

I picked this up thinking it would be a great read for Halloween.  OH MY GOSH - I was struggling hard.  So much talk... so slow... such big words about professor life. I just couldnt.

Shame because I was totally getting Practical Magic vibes where the husbands of these witches die.... but I had to stop around page 75 because I felt like I was going to poke my own eyes.  Maybe I'm just too 'light minded' to follow big words & forever long descriptions.  Honestly, there was one sentence that I had to look up EVERY word for because I'd never even heard of each of the 8+ letter long words.  Geez.

I tapped out

596374Covenant Child
* / Did not like it

Quick Summary:  The granddaughters of a billionaire are the heirs to a fortune after their mother had died when they were little & their father dies unexpectedly. Their step mother loves them & vows to take care of them but their maternal grandparents take in the "Billion Dollar Babies" to get the money.  The twins grow up thinking the step mother has stolen the money from them. 

OK... so the book before was so advanced I couldnt take it... this one was so simple, I couldnt take it. I nearly quit because it was just like a 10th grader wrote it.  One sentence lines.  Weird "hillbilly" speak for the maternal grandparents.  The ending was just enough to make me shut the book & say, "That was so dumb"...I should say, "What ending?" - it just closed so abruptly & sorry, it was just - dumb.

I will probably offend some people but this is what I really dislike about Christian writing.  It's just too light in writing.  I value & love when books can center around scripture & use God in their writing & Christians for the characters - but there's a line where they put a stigma on christian novels & this is it.  This was just too juvenile for me.

22693222The Residence:  Inside the Private World of the White House
** / It was OK

Quick Summary:  Interviews & a look with the staff that runs the white house

I saw someone mention this on the last Show Us Your Books & this sort of thing intrigues me - so looked & my library had it.

I found parts of it really interesting - loved the parts where it would give some insight on the President & First Family. A little look to see who they really are in private, behind the scenes.  I thought it was a little "jumpy" though.  They'd be talking about one President / era in one paragraph & another one in the next.

Each chapter was divided by Situations... like Secrets or Scandals or Children of the White House... I almost wish it was divided into each Presidential term instead.

I will say, this did make me love all the Bush families even more.  Even the staff doesnt seem to say a bad word about them.  Barbara Bush has to be the kindest First Lady ever.

“Yet the very thing that the staff most pride themselves on—their ability to fade into the background—can also be dehumanizing.”

Life According to Steph

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Sweet Potato Quinoa Vegetarian Chili Slow Cooker Recipe - Soup Swap!

I know today is mostly all about books in blog land.. I'll be sure to join in tomorrow.

Today, I'm joining in with a group of ladies for a Blog Hop.
If you are looking for some good warm things to make for all the cold weather, today is your day.
Soups - Chilis - Stews... warm up your belly!!!

So how does this work?  You click on the next link at the end of each blog post & go see what recipe they are sharing & then onto the next & next - & if you went through them all, you'd eventually make it back here! ... so be sure to read to the end to find the next blog to go visit.

Before you go though or jump to the bottom, I'm sharing my go-to recipe.

This is the one that Ricky begs me to make. He LOVES this stuff.  This is what I make for our Thanksgiving or our Christmas Day dinner.   I have to say, it really is delicious.  & of course, its like any other chili - tastes almost better then next few days when its warmed up. Chili is magical like that.

Of course, this is me - its a vegetarian dish... but believe me, I've ran it past a lot of meat loving people & they say they dont miss the meat at all with this.    With the sweet potatoes & quinoa, you've got some good healthy foods in there too.

Let's jump to the recipe already....

  • 2 15-ounce] cans 3 cups cooked black beans, cooked
  • 1 Green bell pepper -( I use Red pepper - either works )
  • 2 Sweet potatoes, medium / large - depends on preference
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans Tomatoes
  • 1 Yellow onion, medium
Canned Goods
  • 2 cups Vegetable broth
Pasta & Grains
  • 1/2 cup Quinoa

Baking & Spices
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp Chili powder
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 1 Salt and pepper
Nuts & Seeds
  • 2 tsp Cumin
Put all ingredients into the crock pot & set for 8 hours.
Yields 6-10 servings (depending on bowl size)

All the ingredients

Here's the quinoa I use.  I pour the amount in a measuring cup & then put in this strainer & let water go all over it to rinse it off.  It's easy to just take a spoon & scoop it all into the crock pot from here.

If you've never tried quinoa - do it - its so yummy & good for you - especially if you're a vegetarian.

Here's what it looks like before I stir it all up to put the lid on & let it simmer away.

& just because I'm a lazy kinda cook... be sure to use one of those crock pot bags to help with the cleaning. No one wants to scrub that baby after its been cooking all day long!

NOTE - Some times, it seems like the vegetable broth will steam off quick - so I keep extra broth near by & add in if I want it to be a little more liquid - or you can not add it & get a thicker chili - totally your preference.

Here's the finished product.  All NORMAL CHILI looking, right?  The sweet potatoes are super soft & the quinoa thickens it up. It's just perfect for cold nights.

So funny story - I forgot to take a picture of the bowl I was eating. I gobbled it up till I was stuffed & then remembered I had no picture. I ended up putting a little bit into a little bowl so you could see how yummy it looks ready to go.

& confession - I ended up eating this little bowl too - even though I was stuffed. I couldn't resist.

I've topped it with many things & its all delicious.... cheese, tortilla strips, crackers, & our favorite is avocado.  Heck, put ALL those things on top!  So yummy!

So let me know if you give this a try... you'll love it - trust me.

& now, onto the next awesome blogger Shugunna at Nzure N Simplicity....Click HERE

Be sure to tell her I say hello!

You can also be sure to visit all the blogs joining in by just clicking on them individually in the links at the bottom.  Either way, you're going to get your fill of warm & delicious winter ideas

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Monday, November 11, 2019

The weekend we had a baby giant visit us

Happy Veterans Day!

I am actually off today so I'm really enjoying this Monday!

I'm equally glad to be home because today is supposed to be yucky around here.  Which is really sad because we're coming off of a beautiful sunny weekend. Even better, yesterday was GORGEOUS. One last glorious day before winter comes in & sucks away all the fun.  Near 70 degrees & sunny & just perfect.  Today, the bottom drops out.  Rain all day, temps dropping, light snow possible. & tomorrow, our HIGH is going to be in the low 20's.  Kick me in the face now. It'll feel equally the same.

But... let's just reminisce on how lovely the weekend was first before I hole up in a cave like a bear & just want to sleep till the first buds of Spring appear.

Friday, we got off work & I stopped at the grocery to pick up a few things & was ready to tuck away for the night.  This time change & it being dark by 5:30, I was in my sweat pants & cozied up in no time.  I ended up finishing up American Horror Story - season 2... Asylum.  Which, all I can say is CRAZZZYYYYY. 

Image result for american horror story season 2 meme"

This show is like a horrible car wreck. You can't look away even though you know you dont want to see what is there.

Of course, I never can go to sleep after watching these episodes so I had to get in one episode of a Halloween Baking Championship to cleanse my mind palate.

Saturday, I got up as Ricky was leaving for work.  Boo.  I hate when he has to work on Saturday.  Though, I am so productive when he's gone.  Dont know how that works.  But I ended up getting Bruno going in his walker for awhile... & got a work out in ... some laundry got done... & got some crock pot chili going.  All that before noon!

Oh, add in I went over to take care of the horses. BAM! Superwoman!

When Ricky got home, we were just relaxing, chatting, having a nice easy Saturday.  Then we got a phone call from his sister & brother in law & they were headed our way.  That was a fun surprise.  Especially when they brought over their "Grand-dog"... a Great Dane!  OH MY GOSH... this baby monster.  He's just 5 months old & is as tall as our kitchen table.  His paws are bigger than my hands. He is HUGE!!!!... & WE LOVE HIM!!!!!

Harvey was REALLLLLY leery of him & we ended up having to kennel him up.  Harvey is a nervous dog anyways.  Ernie was totally intrigued & kept trying to get him to play. 

It's so funny to think that this huge creature is still just a baby though.  Just months old.  We remembered he was a pup when we looked up & saw him starting to gnaw on Ricky's tablet - HAHA. Oh, those puppy days. How we remember them well.  Shall we bring up all the #thingsharveydentdoeswrong again?

It was so funny though because this baby Giant didnt know what to think about Bruno. He just kept staring at him (Bruno was sound asleep & you dont mess with Bruno's sleep)... Bo just kept staring at him, like "What in the world is this thing?"

My sister in law ended up going with me to put up Baby & got to visit with my momma for a bit... & then we got to hang out a little bit more at the house. It was so nice to see them & have some company.

The rest of my Saturday was filled with watching the last 4 episodes of A Million Little Things.  Man, I love that show. I'm a total Gary girl! Love him so much!!!!

Image result for gary a million little things"

Sunday, I was up fairly early & time to get ready for church.  Before that, I ran back over in the cool air to let Baby Girl back out again.  She knows my face - let me tell you. She knows when she hears my voice, she gets to stretch those legs.

After church, I had to do some Target shopping & then worked on my planner a bit & then back over to my momma's to take her some left over chili & to see what my brother & his buddies did.  They cleaned out the stalls & had to dig out the barn doors so they could close for the winter.  With these cold temps coming, time to prep up..... UGH!!!!

& that's the extent of my weekend. Nothing super exciting, but nice enough. We had family in there, dog loving, church, productivity, Netflix binging, beautiful warm sunshine.... I think we covered it all.

Oh, we also got our Christmas tree up!

OK - someone help me here.  We got the TREE up - its not decorated yet. I want to do that today, but I'm not sure HOW to decorate this tree.

We got it last year at the end of the year on clearance & we love it.  It has these HUGE bulbs on it & you can click it to keep it a solid color. Like, Clear, yellow, red, blue, purple, green.  Or it can flash between red & green... & Ricky likes it where it is on a constant loop switching colors....

I tried to capture some of the light changes - could never grab the red or pink

But how do you DECORATE a tree like this? We usually do our whole tree in Disney ornaments.  But Ricky doesnt really want to put all our ornaments on this tree because he doesnt want to cover up the bulbs or hide them in any way. 

& I dont know what color scheme to go with.  Because what I would do for clear lights, wont work for green lights, that wont do for red lights or blue lights. I dont know what to do here.

if it were up to me, I'd leave it on the clear lights - I love a clear light tree....sigh...

I've always wanted to do the black & white buffalo plaid thing - would that work with all the colors? Maybe? Possibly?... if you need me, I'll be on Pinterest today looking at ideas.

So tell me how your weekend was....

You putting up your tree soon?

Do you love big dogs?

Whose your favorite character on A Million Little Things?

Friday, November 08, 2019

Friday Favorites

Image result for knit by god's hand friday favorites
Click pics for link

Favorite Fruit Gadget

NEX Fruit Slicer Multi Kitchen Tool

How smart!!! Does all sorts of things & stacks up in this cute little funky fruit look!

Favorite Socks

I'm digging these Harry Potter knee high socks!!!

Favorite Kitchen Cleaning

KOHLER Multi-Purpose Over-the-Sink Drying Rack

I love this just because I tend to always have a mug (or two) always to go in the sink - this would be a nice way to clean it quick & let it dry & not take up counter space.
Also love that little area to let utensils soak!

Favorite Timer

So I do this thing that I've heard of a long time ago
... you set a timer for clean one room every night - just 15 minutes.
This is a way to keep your house straightened up.
Now... the trick is to do this every day (cough cough)
I used to be a lot better at it... but this cute timer may give me a boost to get back on track again
... but would be super cute too for working out -
or for a kid in 'Time out"
or if you have to limit your reading time (COUGH COUGH)

Favorite Beauty & the Beast

Ugly Disney Christmas Sweaters

... ummm ... YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
& dont call this an Ugly Christmas Sweater!
Not to me!!!

Favorite Baby Gift

Fun on the Farm Stacker
Look at all the sweet animals!!!
So much cuter than the stacking colored rings!

Favorite Purse

Bostanten Leather Bucket Bag

Isnt this such a pretty color? - it comes in more Fall/winter colors too!
I love the shape of this bucket bag.
I can stuff this baby full of some yarn projects :) #priorites

Favorite Funnies

Morning Funny Meme Dump 36 Pics

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I'll give myself props by saying I figured it out in about 1 minute #mesmart
Afternoon Funny Meme Dump 32 Pics

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.... when I see my bills compared to my bank account

GIPHY! ( October 16, 2015 at 01:55PM

... anytime I go into any craft store

GIPHY! ( November 1, 2019 at 10:19AM

... when I stock up on half-off Halloween Reese cups

GIPHY! ( July 29, 2015 at 01:19AM

... me at 4:30 today

GIPHY! ( May 3, 2019 at 04:55PM

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Thankful Thursday #245

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Light in Barn
My mom had found these little light bulbs that are super cute to hang... I think they are mainly for decorations on porches or to use for camping.  They run off batteries.  So mom thought about getting them to use in the barn where the electricity doesnt reach.  With the dark winter evenings coming, my brother & Ricky set them up & man oh man... this is life changing for us!!!  I'm sure the cold will kill the batteries super fast - but man, it'll be worth it to stock up on batteries at Sam's Club or Amazon for the light!

24 Years
It feels like yesterday that I walked down the aisle... but how much life have we lived in those 24 years?  Love we've done it together.

I had white flowers for my wedding & the day before our wedding, Ricky had sent me 3 dozen white roses.... so now, every anniversary, he finds me white flowers to give me. Isnt that the cutest thing?  I think this may be one of my favorite arrangements he's had made for me. I love hydragenias so much anyways & the white roses with it - gorgeous. I love the vase its in too - hard to see in this pic, but its like that green soft color - our living room has that color touched in it - so this will be a vase I'll use in there for years to come.

Sweet traditions
I love that we have some traditions we do on our anniversary every year.  Eating at the Pie Kitchen is one of them that is SUPER SWEET to do each celebration.  How can you get mad at sitting & chowing down on some delicious sugary desserts?

Praying friends
We got some news that was pretty earth shaking & I loved that immediately, I had friends praying for us.  I believe in the power of prayer. There is something mighty about people lifting up concerns & requests to our Father!

Doctor worked in
So grateful that after a full night of worrying & no sleep, we had a doctor that worked us in to explain some things to us right when they opened.

Heat on in November
We did it- we made it all the way to November before turning on our heat.  We typically like to make it till October so I'm really happy we didnt have to turn it on till November 1st.

One Hour extra sleep
I loathe - DESPISE - Daylight Savings Time... but I'm always fighting to find something always to be thankful for... so I'll be thankful for that one hour extra sleep. Never mind that it will mess me up all week long adjusting to the dark & sleep change... but YES, for one day, I'll be glad for that extra hour sleep.

Tell me something good about your week!

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