Friday, April 25, 2014

Journal Day #10

Here's this week's prompt-

Quite simply, what are you good at? All of us have particular strengths- what are yours? This week, talk about these talents, big or small. Ideas: discuss how you use these things in your daily life or job, how you discovered a knack for this or that, perhaps even touch on whether or not you are passionate about the things you're good at. via- Sometimes Sweet

I feel like I have never really figured out the answer to this question. I can do quite a few things well but I don't have that one thing that I truly excel at. Some of the things I do well are not even transferable to every day life but are skills that I have picked up over the years at different jobs and hold no use to me now. Other things are just barely notable.

I can organize the pants off paperwork or a crap-fulled closet. I really love when things have a place and everything is in its place. For some reason this is not something I can transfer to my personal life as noted by my messy house. Strange how that works... 
I am great at collecting scrapbooking stuff and then letting it sit for a few years before I remember I even have it. Haha.

I am also great at hording clothes. I have an endless amount of clothes that I simply cannot bear to part with. And even though most of it doesn't even fit me anymore I just don't seem to be able to let anything go.

I make a mean meatloaf. At least my parents think I do. When I moved out they would occasionally call me to come over and make one. It became a kind of joke with friends and every time I got off the phone with my folks I would get asked if I had to go over and make a meatloaf. :)

I am a decent baker. I dabble in cupcakes, cakes, bars, and cookies. So far everything I've made has been met with good compliments.

And finally, I am amazing at (and love!) untangling bundles of necklace chains. Weird skill to have and only occasionally helpful. This came in handy when I worked in retail and we occasionally got a ball (that's right-ball) of necklaces in a shipment box. Best afternoons ever.


Saturday, April 19, 2014


Target is dangerous when movies are on sale / Vinylmation project for our trip! / Pretty sure I need to take more photo booth pictures / The only Orla Kiely item I will probably ever be able to afford / My lipstick collection is growing! (and don't let the photo fool you, 2 of these are reds!!) / Loving these jade rose plugs / Bright flowers make me happy


Thursday, April 17, 2014

365 Questions: 50-56

50. Can you describe you life in a six word sentence?
Disney World in under ten days!!

51. If we learn from our mistakes, why are so afraid to make a mistake?
I think a large part has to do with the risk factor and the "after shock" of making a mistake and how it'll effect us. But at the same time, both are present if you succeed or fail...

52. What impact do you want to leave on the world?
On the world? Not really sure. But I want the people in my life to feel loved and happy and hopefully I can have a hand in that.
53. What is the most defining moment of your life thus far?
Meeting the mister. At the time it seemed ordinary to meet a guy and go on a date with him but 5 years later my life and me as a person have changed since he came into my life.
54. In the haste of your daily life, what are you not seeing?
As I spend about 9 hrs each weekday behind a desk, I would guess quite a bit.

55. If life is short, why do we do so many thing we don't like and like many things we don't do?
I feel like responsibilities take priority in life more so that doing what you want at times. I spend most of my time at work when I would rather not. But I need to work to pay for food and a place to live. Then we get trapped in this mobius strip-like existence where were are working to live and living to work.

56. What lifts your spirits when life gets you down?
Disney movies, seeing my bunnies, when a stranger is nice to me, the mister singing in the shower, and a the moment Starburst jelly beans!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Recipe Review ---> Coconut Oil Biscuits

Bread has always evaded me in the kitchen. The recipes always intimidate me with their talk of yeast rising and warnings of over kneading. I never try to make it because I feel like I am sure to fail. Attacking my irrational fear of making homemade bread has been on my yearly to-do list for a couple years now and I think this recipe gets me one step closer to being able to cross it off! 

I stumbled across a recipe on Gimme Some Oven for 3-Ingredient Coconut Oil Biscuits. I have never used coconut oil ever so I figured this recipe would kill 2 birds with one stone: expand my kitchen knowledge by trying new things and attempting to make homemade bread. 

The recipe is fairly simple. Blend the coconut oil with the flour. And then add the milk. Easy peasy. When I opened the coconut oil I noticed it was solid like lard or shortening but more stiff. Naturally I decided to nuke some to a softer consistency to be able to measure the correct amount and make it easier to mix with the flour. I may have softened it a little too much but whatev. It worked fine.

I spread the dough onto my floured counter and flattened it into an even layer. I used a glass tumbler with a bit of oil on the rim to cut out biscuits and realized I should have used more flour as they we sticking a little. No worries.

I baked them a little longer that the recipe called for because mine were not getting toasty golden brown on top the way the recipe said they should. After 2 extra minutes I did the cupcake test (where I lightly push down the center to see if it springs back up meaning its done or stays depressed meaning it needs more time) and they seemed just fine. I even turned one over and the bottom was nice and brown. If I left them in any longer I would have run the risk of burning the bottoms. And then I would have thrown them away in a fit of failure.

Once they cooled for a few minutes I ripped a piece of one to make sure the insides were done and do a taste test. The biscuit's innards were fluffy and soft. Upon tasting them they were pretty good, a little denser than I was expecting (which is probably from me over handling the dough). The mister liked them too which is always a plus!

Verdict: I will totally make these again. Next time I will try to "fold" the dough when I knead it at the mister's suggestion. It should help get more flaky layers and may even help with the fluffiness.

Happy baking!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

365 Questions: 43-49

43. What are you most grateful for?
My husband.  He's all I need.

44. Is stealing to feed a starving child wrong?
By current society's standards, yes.  Is that right?  Probably not.

45. What do you want most?
To lose some stinkin' weight!

46. Are you more worried about doing things right or doing the right things?
Doing the right things. Even if I do them wrong, I'm still doing ok. And doing the right things wrong beats doing the wrong things right.  Right?

47. What has life taught you recently?
You can't avoid change. It is inevitable.

48. What is one thing you would most like to change about the world?
This is a very loaded question that is hard to answer without sounding like a pageant contestant.

49. Where do you find inspiration?
From others. Pinterest mostly.  Haha.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Journal Day #8

Here's this week's prompt-

Would you consider yourself a religious person? Quite simply- what do you believe happens when you die? Have you always believed this? Do your current beliefs align with what you were taught as a child? And if not, what was the turning point? This week, talk about your religion or spiritual beliefs (or perhaps your lack of), and try to sum up, if you can, what you believe happens "next." via - Sometimes Sweet

I was raised Catholic. And when I say Catholic,  I mean Catholic-school-and-church-3-times-a-week Catholic. We had holy water at the front and back doors. There were dried palms peaking out from pictures of Jesus that hung in almost every room. I served at church, I sang hymns in the choir, I helped out at the church festivals, I went to Bible Study every Wednesday. I can pick out a few memories that tie closely in my choice to leave it all behind.
Growing up I thought all Christians were supposed to be nice and loving, like they teach us to be at school. They say we are all a big happy family under the same faith and beliefs. I never thought that I would be bullied by cliques of girls at a place I thought to be safe from all of that. The girls at Bible Study were snotty, rude and just plain mean. And I was apparently naive enough to think that Christians would never be like that. I started resisting going to Bible Study to save myself from being picked on. And on occasion even started fights with my mother so that she would be mad at me and make me stay home. The times I did still go I was uncomfortable, self conscious even (at 11), with the kids my age and repeatedly asked to stay with the adults who were partaking in the regular service. Eventually I just stopped going, much to my mother's disapproval. From there I slid farther and farther away from the church (though is till went to Catholic school) and religion as a whole. As did my mother, which is strange since she was fiercely raised a God-fearing Catholic. She slowly stopped going to church but still read the Bible at home on occasion. Sometimes I feel that she only went to church religiously (ha!) during my childhood for our benefit but when we were old enough to decided we didn't want to go, she backed off. 

During this same time I started to notice things that were done and said in the name of God. It was atrocious. War, bigotry, protesting abortion clinics (using children no less!), disparaging an entire type of people because they are "deemed unholy". Completely ridiculous to me. I washed my hands of all it and denounced not only Catholicism, but religion as a whole. Now don't get me wrong, I know the actions of few doesn't represent all Catholics (or all religious faiths) around the world, but it did apply to ones in my life and I therefore wanted nothing to do with any of it. 

A few years later when I was in my early 20s, my mother and I were at lunch. Our relationship was a ton better than it had been when I was a teenager (aided mostly by the fact that I had moved out of my parents' house) and we could converse like two adults. We would get together every few weeks for lunch and just talk. A couple had walked in and were being seated. I am kind of a creeper in public and like to people watch so I noticed they had ashes on their head. I remembered that it must be Ash Wednesday. My mother noticed also and said, "you should really go to church more." Now, me and my mother have never had the "religion talk" where I told her what I believed and she pretended to be ok with it. Without even thinking I replied, "why?" nonchalantly and with probably a little disdain. My mom looked at me and without blinking said, "I raised you better than that." I sat here dumbfounded for a moment and then I lost it. I told her that that was the problem with organized religion. If you don't think like us, you're crap. I then went on a rampage about how I don't lie, cheat, or steal. I hold the door for people and let people cut in front of me at the grocery store if they only have a few items. She raised me fine and I am a good person. And that just because I don't hold your religious beliefs doesn't make you better than me. She stared blankly at me and was absolutely speechless. I stormed out of the restaurant. Later that day we sat on the porch on my childhood home and actually had a real adult conversation with my mother about my beliefs.

I believe in faith and hope, in doing the right thing, in morals. I believe in the Ten Commandments, that Jesus, Mary Joseph, the Apostles and all the others were real people. But I also believe that the Bible is a book of stores put together by men to unite a people under one religion and has been (and is being) used to persecute people that don't fit into what is laid out within it's pages. This is never more true than today when homosexuals are being refused rights because of a misconstrued interpretation of the Bible or that women are denied access to safe means of birth control because of a company head's religious beliefs. I know these are both weighty issues and this post is not meant to be about them. But just these two issues alone verify a decision I made long ago, to steer clear of organized religion and think for myself. And as for what comes next (which was supposed to be the topic of this post), I don't know really. But then again, none of us do. Maybe there is a heaven and a hell. Or maybe we just perish and no longer exist. Then again I could be reincarnated into a tree. We won't know until it is our turn. 


Thursday, April 3, 2014

365 Questions: 36-42

36. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
Definitely never trying.

37. When was the last time you listened to the sound of your own breathing?
I can't even remember consciously doing it. But I'm sure I do it in bed every night just before falling asleep.

38. What's something you know you do differently than most people?
Say the word button.

39. What does the :American Dream" mean to you?
In the general sense of the phrase it means to get everything you want out of this one and only life you have.  To me that means to be surrounded by loved ones, bunnies, baked goods with plenty of trips to Disney.

40. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
They say ignorance is bliss...

41. If you could instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby's mind, what advice would you give?
Just to be yourself I guess. Be your own person. Relish in your differences and don't compare yourself to others.

42. What is the most desirable trait another person can possess?
A sense of humor and a good laugh. 


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

31 Before 31: Mid-Year Review

When I turned 30 last fall I made a list of things I would like to do before I turn 31. Since it has been about 6 months since my birthday, I figured I would take a look at the list and see how I am doing! The notes in bold is my progress (or lack there of) so far...

1. Experiment more with cooking and baking.  I really want to step outside my comfort zone in the kitchen.  And I especially want to tackle my fear of dough! (Breads, pies, etc) I have done this a little.  I have made some homemade pretzels that were delicious. I would like to try a few bread loaf recipes.

2. Quit smoking.  Seriously though.... Done and done! its been about 3 months so far!

3. Actually have a cohesive decor plan in the house, not just a bunch of random stuff everywhere.  Naturally I want to include our collectibles and such.  I just want to look less hodge-podgy. Still working on this. Once rooms are more finished I can work out a better design plan. Since some rooms are still just used for storage it has been kinda hard.

4. Control my money better.  Have a budget and stick to it. Always working on this.

5. Purge my clothes/shoes/purses.  I did this for the rummage but I still have far too many pieces.  Trim it down to essentials and a few key items. (Same goes with undergarments and socks!) Still need to do this! But with rummage season starting soon it will up on my to do list!

6. Get preggers!!  So excited (and secretly terrified) that this milestone is on the horizon.

7. Get a cleaning routine down for the house.  I would like a list of a few simple things to do each day so it doesn't seem that daunting (or pile up).  I've seen lists on Pinterest.  Just have to find a suitable one and put it into action.  

8. Spend more time together (with anyone!) not spending money.  There are plenty of things to do that don't involve shelling out cash. Looking forward to this being more feasible once its a bit nicer out.

9. Do more things outdoors.  Even if its as simple as reading outside or walking the trail on 60. Grilled last night! Can't wait to be able to spent extended periods of time. And I am finally buying a bike today so the mister and I can take rides around the lake.

10. Keep a handle on my hair.  Regular trims, no bad roots, actually taking the time to make it look decent. Got a hair cut (and bangs!).  Think i need to go in for a bang trim soon...and I need to dye it again.

11. Wear dresses/skirts more.  I have a handful of them now, I just need to remember to wear them. Another one that will be easier to do once the temp rises.

12. Learn a new hobby.  Or just a new skill in general. Really want to pick up cross stitching!

13. Watch less television!!

14. Exercise at least 4 times a week.  Even if its 20 minutes of yoga.  Something! I did well with this for a while but then it feel to the wayside. I will be jumping back on the wagon though!

15. Read 20 books (at least 5 classics). Already up to 9 this year!  Gotta get those classics in though...

16. Sew a piece of clothing for myself.

17. Get the offi-craft room under control.  Organization is key! The mister built some storage racks in the basement so this will hopefully get some of the stuff out of the offi-craft room. I jsut have to go through everything and move it down there...

18. Make our bedroom more inviting.  Right now it is just our bed and some furniture.  Nothing on the walls, no personal touches.  This needs to change.

19. Take more pictures.  Of the mister and I.  Of friends.  Of family.  Of everything.  And maybe with the nice camera.  Not just on my phone. Failing epically at this. The batteries in our camera are dead and I keep forgetting to get new ones.  :(

20. Do more nice things just because.

21. Keep writing in my OhLife online diary.  I really enjoy hitting the 'random' button and reading past entries of little things that I have already forgotten. And it has only been a few months.  It'll be nice in the future to look back on years of memories. I usually do this at least twice a week.

22. Actually put photo albums together.

23. Follow through on craft projects.  I have a few that have been started and are just sitting on the back burner.

24. Continue Project 365 in the new year.  I have fallen a bit behind but I will catch up!  And I would like to do it again next year. Plus I need to keep a more mindful eye of things to photograph for this project.  I always say it is hard during the week bc its so monotonous.  But that is no excuse. I did not start a 365 Project this year. I am trying to take at least 3 pic a week and post them on Instagram though.

25. Tackle something that I have been putting off.  Something I've been scared of doing, to intimidated to do, forgetting to do. Anything.

26. Paint one of the blank canvases I own.

27. Cook with my brother(s). They still need to come over!

28. Take better overall care of my self heath-wise.  Regular physicals, dental exams, etc.  I am an adult, darn it.  I need to start taking care of myself.

29. Purge all my make-up, hair products, etc and just g keep the essentials.  I have way too much stuff and there is really no need for it.  Less is more! Pretty sure this will get done when I tear through the house for Spring cleaning.

30. Really try my hardest to not let the goals I want to achieve get lost in the day-to-day routine.  I think this will be the most difficult thing on this list to do.  I have something I want to do really badly and do well for a little while and then it just gets lost.  I need to keep motivation every day and remind myself what the end game is and that there is no reason I can't accomplish anything if I just focus! This is one I would love to remember every single day!

31. And lastly, just have a great first year of my thirties!

One of the hardest parts is forgetting about my list!  I need to make a better conscious effort to check and keep my goals in mind. Here's to another 6 months of


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Journal Day #7

Here's this week's prompt- 
Do you use social media in your daily life? Do you think it adds to your relationships with others, or takes away from them? And furthermore, do you think social media adds more positive or negative to your life? Write about your relationship with social media, and talk a bit about how you got started, and what role it plays in your world. via - Sometimes Sweet

I remember when I joined Facebook back in 2008. A friend of mine had mentioned it and after checking it out I figured what the heck and started an account. Back then it was nothing but a white page that showed who your friends were and your feed was simply the few friends that never really posted anything. It seemed boring so I very rarely went on it. And I didn't really need to since I already followed all my friends on MySpace. As time (a few months) went on, more and more friends joined and I was going on it more and more. Soon I left MySpace behind and solely used FB to keep up with friends (which I saw everyday so it was kinda pointless, haha). Soon thereafter I also joined Twitter and followed everyone I could think of. I also jumped on the Instagram wagon as soon as it was available for Android.

Over the years I have come to appreciate certain aspects of using social media. I see FB and Instagram as a time capsule of photos and memories. I can look back in my profiles and see things I had all but forgot about. Its kinda of amazing. As for Twitter, I occasionally use it but not very often. I have since seriously downsized the people I follow. And while I rarely check my Twitter feed, I check FB and Instagram a few times a day. I chuckle at memes that friends post.  I get to see my best friends daughter learning to cook with her grandma. I can share home improvement projects or a great thrift find. But I also get worked into a tizy by reading comments on a controversial topic (I should know better by now to just stay away). Or upset seeing that someone in Illinois has taped razor blades to various kid's equipment at a park and saw a photo of a 3 year old's bloody hand. 

I use social media in a purely journalistic way, much like this blog, to catalog my life. And I hope to continue doing so for years to come.  be able to look back and remember all the little things about my life that I had somehow forgot. For me, the positive out weigh the negative by a long shot.