Book Review July 2014

24 Jul

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be given when you can’t help it.” -Oscar Wilde

I am so excited, I will be taking a trip to go see one of my closest-I’ve-known-her-forever friends next week!!! We have been planning this trip for a few months now and I cannot wait to get there. I haven’t seen her daughter in two years, and it just so happens that I will get to help celebrate her third birthday while I’m there! We have some fun times planned already and then figure the rest we’ll figure out as we go! I am trying to plan what snacks and such to take – with my food allergies it’s always best to be prepared. (I really hope you read those last two words in a song from Lion King, because that’s how I typed it. only, I’m not planning on killing my brother, the king, in order to starve the whole kingdom… but anyway) 

So, because of the trip, I will be taking a week off from the blog. I have gone back and forth about prepping posts but I think it will be good to just take a break from so much time in front of this laptop of mine and enjoy the moments a little more. Although I am torn because I wanted to join the link up wit the flok

So, today we will have  our monthly book review a week early. ( and I hope you will forgive the lack of photos of the books I’m reviewing today, I have been in a lot of pain this week and do not have the energy to take the photos. enjoy this one from unsplash though!)

 

 

 

 

book review july 2014

 

Take Hold by Ariel and D’vorah Berkowitz –  has it really been three months since I started this book? oy! I am determined to finish it, no matter how long it takes. It is a super interesting book, apparently, the difficulty is in my actually picking it up…. This book teaches about the unity and equality between Jewish believers and non- Jewish believers through Messiah;  the inheritance of non -Jewish believers through the covenants of Israel. As the back cover states “What is your relationship to the Land, the People and the Scriptures of Israel?” 

Your Older Dog  by Jean Callahan – I got this book because I realized, that yes, Lady Abigail is getting old. Once I read the chapter on signs of aging, I saw that a lot of her behaviors that she has recently ‘picked up’ are because she is old, not just being a pill. slow response times, sleeping a LOT more, wears out quicker on walks, etc… she’s old. The book had some great information in it, if you are thinking your dog is being a brat and she’s getting close to age 10, you might wand to grab this book! 

DIY Dog Grooming by Jorge Bendersky - I really only read one chapter of this book, but I did like that in the opening chapter it helps you determine what type of hair your dog has, so you can know how to properly groom them. For some reason, it took me a while to figure out, according to the book, what type Lady had…. Good book. Cover is a little off-putting. 

A Tiger in the Kitchen by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan – This was a ‘food memoir’ that i found at the library. it was very well written and interesting. She is Singaporean, so the food that she learns to cook is very different from what I grew up eating. I did a more thorough review in last month’s book review – book-review-june-2014

Finding Betty Crocker by Susan Marks -What a fun book! This is the one I kept by my bedside to read each evening. It contained recipes, photos of ‘betty crocker’ and her kitchens through the years and it was very interesting  to read how this person that transformed so many people’s lives, came to be! 

A Captain for Laura Rose by Stephanie Grace Whitson - I loved loved loved this novel. Laura Rose White grew up with her brother on the Missouri river in a steamboat captained by her late father, who taught her how to pilot the steamboat. But, in 1867, a female pilot is unheard of so Laura struggles with only being a ‘cub pilot’ to her brother, Joe. But, when tragedy strikes, Laura must make the two month journey in order to save her home and her family’s legacy. The only way to survive, is by having her brother’s friend, Finn MacKnight, pilot the steamboat. The only problem? Laura fears he is still the drunk laze-about that he used to be before the war. —there is a lot more to the story of course, but hopefully that whets your appetite enough to get it and read it! I loved the twists and turns of this novel. Whitson is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend - These two doctors show you “Why boundaries are vital for a thriving, productive marriage; how to protect a marriage from intruders, whether other people or personal idols ; why each partner needs to establish personal boundaries, and how to go about it ; how to work with a spouse who understands and values boundaries – and how to work with one who doesn’t.” This book has so many pearls of wisdom in it that I am taking notes as I read it. I am only in the 3rd chapter but already I think any marrieds’ should read this! I joined a marriage book study club on facebook  -meaningful marriage book study – and this is the first book that we are going through. And, apparently my OH has their book titled, “Boundaries”, which I have on my to-read list! 

The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun - Adam was on the road to wealth, when he decided to live for purpose, rather than money. He started a non-profit called The Promise of a Pencil, after having traveled and asking a child “if he could have anything in the world, what would it be?”, and the boy answered, “A pencil.” That started a dream to build a school, and it  turned into a thriving organization that stretched around the world. He was only 24 years old when he started and he encourages everyone to not let age stop them from doing what they want to change the world. -this book was such a wonderful read! I read 3/4 of it yesterday alone. It reminded me of the book I read months ago, Kisses From Katie (link to review I did of it in February). But somehow, this one was easier to read. Maybe because there was less heartbreak in it… For whatever the reason, I strongly recommend this book! It is very inspiring as well, so be prepared to have your heartstrings pulled.

The Heart’s Pursuit by Robin Lee Hatcher –  “A jilted bride, desperate to save her family from ruin. A bounty hunter seeking vengeance for a ravaged past. An arduous trek toward justice – or redemption.” Silver Matlock (great name for a woman in western times, I love it!) and Jared Newman travel together to meet their own end goals even though they knew it was a bad idea. Supplies dwindle, suspicions arise as secrets emerge and they end up at odds with each other when they need the other the most. The pair must learn to trust and face the question they haven’t asked yet ‘what happens next?’  – now, i’m only 3 pages in to this book , so i can’t tell you my opinion on it yet except that : i love the story line, i love the cover, and i haven’t yet read a book that Hatcher has written that I haven’t proclaimed to be on my favorite’s list. 

Climbing the Mango Trees  by Madhur Jaffrey - a memoir of a childhood in india. “Jaffrey grew up in a large family compound where her grandfather often presided over dinners at which forty or more members of his extended family would savor together the wonderfully flavorful dishes that were forever imprinted on Madhur’s palate.” I have actually not even started this book yet, but I know i’ll be starting it next week!  I’ll let you know next month what I thought of it, but i am excited about it as it is another food memoir!!!

 

google book image

                                  google book image

See you in August friends! And thanks for stopping by!

 

What have you been reading lately??

Sister’s Quilt Show part 3

22 Jul 2014-07-12 14.07.06

This is the last post of quilts, I promise! I just couldn’t stop taking pictures of them! (Just be glad I didn’t photograph every single quilt….)

my mom and aunt checking out the quilts

my mom and aunt checking out the quilts

two wonderful women in my life - my aunt and mom!

two wonderful women in my life – my aunt and mom!

I loved the creativity of this sign. =)

I loved the creativity of this sign. =)

My late grandma used to make hats for this ranch

My late grandma used to make hats for this ranch

Sister's Quilt show part3

a quilt of the view on the way to sisters. love it

a quilt of the view on the way to sisters. love it

A sculpture made in Sisters

A sculpture made in Sisters

Sister's Quilt show part3

i love the colors - and the hexagons!

i love the colors – and the hexagons! I think this is vintage too!

another Owl quilt!

another Owl quilt!

Sister's Quilt show part3 Sister's Quilt show part3 Sister's Quilt show part3 Sister's Quilt show part3

pink ribbon for cancer survivors

pink ribbon for cancer survivors

 

The quilt show was so much fun. I encourage everyone to go next year! we also stopped for lunch at The Porch and the food was delicious. Sadly, they did not have much to offer someone with multiple food allergies but I was still very impressed with the quality of the food and service. 

God bless friends and thank you for stopping by!

~Laura

Sister’s Quilt Show part 2

17 Jul featured image quiltpart2post

I promised you more quilt photos and here they are! I love how unique each one is – ranging from vintage to kids’ focus to … well, the last one. you’ll love it. There were SO many more than I took photos of, but there will be one more slew of them next week, I tried to get a wide range of styles. Enjoy!

 

i love the little owl on this!

i love the little owl on this!

 

i love the vintage look of this one

i love the vintage look of this one

This was so cool! stickers were placed where everyone was from! ALL OVER folks!

This was so cool! stickers were placed where everyone was from! ALL OVER folks!

cute teacups!!!

cute teacups!!!

yes, i took a photo of a very cool car. what's a quilt show without a few classic cars?

yes, i took a photo of a very cool car. what’s a quilt show without a few classic cars?

this daisy is 3D. I think it was the only quilt with that idea. very unique and they nailed the center of the daisy.

this daisy is 3D. I think it was the only quilt with that idea. very unique and they nailed the center of the daisy.

this one is super cute with some of the squares being farm animals. super  cute for a little one's bed

this one is super cute with some of the squares being farm animals. super cute for a little one’s bed

shot of Sister's with the TONS of people

shot of Sister’s with the TONS of people

2014-07-12 12.39.33

side of the quilt shop in Sisters with quilts hanging. very cool

side of the quilt shop in Sisters with quilts hanging. very cool

favorite - hexagons. and gray as a background color. i adore this quilt

favorite – hexagons. and gray as a background color. i adore this quilt

I believe this is the one my aunt said that is made - always - by hand. all those hexagons.....

I believe this is the one my aunt said that is made – always – by hand. all those hexagons…..

Yes, this is a Beatles quilt. how cool is THAT?

Yes, this is a Beatles quilt. how cool is THAT?

close up- Beatles "Yellow Submarine" - if you don't know this song....  I have a link at the bottom, you must listen to it! classic.

close up- Beatles “Yellow Submarine” – if you don’t know this song…. I have a link at the bottom, you must listen to it! classic.

the Beatles - gotta love it

the Beatles – gotta love it

 

Yellow Submarine by the Beatles (as promised) – Yellow Submarine

Sister’s Outdoor Quilt Show 2014

14 Jul

 

I did something that I’ve always wanted to – but never done before-  this past weekend! I went to the Sister’s Outdoor Quilt Show. Over 1,300 quilts were hung around town – which is deceptively larger than I’ve always believed. The first quilts we saw were in the “Quilted in Honor” by Operation Homefront group. I loved this section. We actually walked through it twice and I noticed more details the second time! 

I won’t overwhelm you with allllll the quilt photos I took in one post, so this will be a mini-series. I hope you like quilts! (If not, come back next week hehe) I learned a lot about different types of patterns and their names from my aunt – if I had been smarter I would have written down all that precious information. As it is, I only wrote down two bits! Pathetic. 

Enjoy some patriotic quilts.

Patriot Stars

                                                               “Patriot Stars”

close up - each white area had detailed embroidery in it.

close up – each white area had detailed embroidery in it.

 

sister's quilt show

                                                       “Let Freedom Ring”

 

sister's quilt show

                                                                             “Fractured”

 

sister's quilt show

                                                     “The Maple Leaf Forever”

   

"Freedom Protector"

                                                             “Freedom Protector”

I really liked this one! 

"Warm Hugs -Patriotic" and "Coming Home"

                                 “Warm Hugs -Patriotic” and “Coming Home”

"And the Flag was Still There"

                                                    “And the Flag was Still There”

This quilt (above) was made by a quilt shop owner in Morrow Bay California- close to where my mom’s family lives. It might be one of my favorites of this section!

"Stars Of Honor"

                                                                   “Stars Of Honor”

"Stars and Stripes Forever"

                                                    “Stars and Stripes Forever”

 

To check out more information on the quilt show , click here

We spent about four hours walking the town, seeing no two quilts alike. We stopped and had lunch at a nice little restaurant called The Porch (here are some reviews) – it was so nice to get out of the 90degree plus sun! 

Come back later in the week for the rest of the quilts! 

Camp NANOWRIMO update

10 Jul

Hello friends! 

I thought for today I’d share a snippet of what I’ve been working on for Camp nanowrimo, although I haven’t gotten near as far on it as I want. I have 3,199 words so far and 22 days left til camp ends. The unofficial word goal is 50,000 but I’ve never been too set on that number, focusing more on writing more often and getting a story down. Enjoy.

camp nanowrimo update

 

 

“I had grown up reading about heroines. Those women who were confident, beautiful and strong.  To say any of those things about me, you would have to be lying. I knew who I was, and who I wanted to be, it was just how to get there that I was…struggling with.

I had almost reached my sixteenth year without anything extraordinary happening to me. I was gangly with a bush of red hair that had recently gone from smooth and straight to frizzy and curly. My dreams of being as beautiful as Elizabeth Bennett or Anne Shirley seemed doomed.  My eyes were a plain brown instead of the dazzling blue I had always longed for. I also had the unfortunate habit of preferring to stay in and reading novels to going out with the other girls in my class.  My parents were glad of it in a way, I think. It meant I wasn’t getting into any trouble like my brothers had a habit of doing. That’s another thing I had always envied in my novels, the large families of beloved sisters. I was stuck with three brothers. All were older, dim-witted and content with their status in life.  Father took it upon himself to name his sons – Cedric, Horace and Leopold. I’d heard it said in whispers that it was no wonder my brothers were no good, just look at the names they had to bear. When I came along, my mother picked my name. I always thought that was a good choice or I would have ended up with something like Bertha. I knew a Bertha once – a nasty girl. I can never like that name now. My mother likes to tell me that she pored over baby names  for just the right name. And although my father wasn’t too keen on it in the beginning, it being too ‘common’ of a name, he now says that it suits me quite well.

Let me introduce myself properly, my name is Amelia Lynn. I am fifteen years old and waiting for adventure to find me.”

 

The Best Gluten Free Bread I’ve ever Made

7 Jul 20140627_205636

I LOVE bread. And ever since I met my OH and went gluten/dairy/egg free (they happened within a few months of each other) I have been trying to find the perfect challah bread recipe.

And I think I have.

The credit goes to Barefeet in the Kitchen for her fabulous Honey and Oat Gluten Free Bread. I, of course, have made some changes to it – some have turned out not-quite-as-good but still much better than 90% of my loaves from other recipes! In other words, even if you have to mix up the flours, do half eggs half egg replacer (which I did this last time) or add in extra honey because you were too tired when making it…. It still turns out delicious! Now, around my house, this Honey and Oat Bread is simply known as Challah Bread, since that’s really the only time I make bread, once a week for Shabbat.

So, roll up your sleeves, pull out your KitchenAid mixer and thank me in 3 odd hours! =)

*I have changed parts of the original recipe so I will be posting it here with abbreviated directions. For the original recipe and more detailed instructions, click the link above! *

Gluten Free Challah Bread

1 cups brown rice flour

1 1/4 cups oat flour (make sure the flour is certified GF)

1 cup tapioca starch

2 teaspoons instant yeast

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum

3/4 cup warm almond milk

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup soft Earth Balance Original butter

3 large duck eggs

Optional: sprinkle of oats for the top (make sure the oats are certified GF)

 

Place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer. Warm the butter, honey and milk in a pan on low heat until the butter is melted. Whisk or stir it together and set aside to cool. Using an electric mixer (hand mixer, or stand), gradually beat the warm milk into the dry ingredients. The mixture will be crumbly at first, but once all the milk mixture is added, it’ll come together.

Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat the mixture till each egg is thoroughly mixed in before adding the next one. Once all the eggs are added, beat the mixture at high speed for 3 minutes. This adds air to the thick batter, which helps take the place of the missing gluten.

ready for rising time #1

ready for rising time #1

Leave the batter right in the mixing bowl and cover the bowl with a light cloth or plastic wrap (for the plastic, slick some oil on it to keep the dough from sticking to it). Let the thick batter rise for 60-90 minutes.

Gently stir the batter down. Scrape it into a lightly greased silicone challah bread mold. Use your wet fingers or spatula, to smooth the top, eliminating any “wrinkles.”

Loosely cover the pan (with oiled plastic or cloth!) and let the dough rise till it barely crowns over the rim of the pan. 45 – 60 minutes, as much as 90. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

ready for rise #2 ( This is a doubled recipe)

ready for baking! ( This is a doubled recipe)

 

Bake for 25 minutes or top is golden brown – if you are using a silicone bread mold, the last 5 or so minutes, pop it out of the pan and let finish to brown the top. Slather melted butter (as much as you want) on top. Let cool. Slice. Enjoy!

YUM

        YUM

the best challah bread gluten free

    Texture – i love it

Look at that loaf!

Look at that loaf!

Shabbat

                           Shabbat

Book Review – June 2014

30 Jun

“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page

and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.”

Paul Sweeney

 

Can I admit to being completely wiped out from this past month? Granted, a good part of that is because of my ever-frustrating health. But, my OH graduated a few weeks ago, we had a party for him that same night and then the next day he left for Portland for his new job (that i’ve already told you about!)  and I think I’ve found a doctor that might be able to help get my health back on track. My mini-garden is ready to transplant, which I’m hoping to do this week  and I’m loving driving my classic 1968 VW Bug again. That sums up my month in a very tiny nutshell. 

And now, on to the books!

I got hooked on a series so the other books I’ve been reading suffered because I just couldn’t put the book down! But, now that I have to wait for the third book in the series at the end of the year, I can get back to those I’ve been postponing. As I had hoped last month, I made it to all of the books on my list – so let’s get to it! 

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Take Hold – by Ariel and D’vorah Berkowitz - Yes, i started this last month but I am thoroughly enjoying the (albeit slow) read! This book teaches about the unity and equality between Jewish believers and non- Jewish believers through Messiah;  the inheritance of non -Jewish believers through the covenants of Israel. As the back cover states “What is your relationship to the Land, the People and the Scriptures of Israel?” It is published through First Fruits of Zion, where we also get our Torah Club (messianic commentary on the weekly portions)

The Twelve Dancing Princesses – selected and introduced by Alfred David and Mary Elizabeth Meek – my mom got me this(!) it was printed in 1974 and I got so excited about it because of the re-write of the dancing princesses story, Wildwood Dancing by  Juliet Marillier. This book is a compilation of fairy tales from Germany, Russia, France, Scandinavia, England and America. Some are familiar and some I’ve never heard of before. All though, are different from the fairy tales that we know. Darker. Sadder. More detailed and in depth than what they have turned into. I am loving grabbing this when I only have a few minutes to read. 

 

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A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander –   Book 1 of the Belmont Mansion Series . a Great Historical novel! It already went back to the library, so if you try to search for it in the photos, you won’t find it =) Set one year after the War Between the States ended. Claire Laurent has a dream of becoming a well-acclaimed painter, but her father insists she is only a copyist. She has to flee New Orleans to Nashville and meets Sutton Monroe. When he doesn’t turn her in to authorities, she thinks he is a godsend. But as events unfold, she wonders if she misjudged him. Sutton Monroe wants to set the wrongs done against him and his family, right and to reclaim what is due him. But at what cost to him – and the woman he loves?  yes, it really is that good. I had the hardest time putting this down! 

A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander – Book 2 of the Belmont Mansion Series – set in late 1868 on. Eleanor Braddock is plain and practical. She wants her life to have meaning, even though she knows she will never marry. She arrives at her aunt’s house, Belmont Mansion, poor and struggling to take care of her ailing father. Her Aunt Adelicia is one of the most demanding women, and her goal is to see Elanor wed. But Eleanor finds herself helping the widows and fatherless children from the Civil War, knowing that her aunt will not approve. Hiding his royal identity, Archduke Marcus Gottifried hopes to live life as he wants, combining his love of beauty in nature and architecture with the building of the widows and children’s home with Eleanor. As the work brings them closer, a love blooms. But the one person that knows Marcus’ secret is about to reveal it. ACK! i love this novel. I just finished it last night and I almost feel like I could just pick it up again. You must read this series. I love the twists and turns that these books bring. 

Finding Betty Crocker- by Susan Marks - who doesn’t love Betty Crocker? I have a new habit of wandering the cookbook section at the library, not only searching for cookbooks but also memoirs. This one I was excited about and while I am only about halfway through it is an interesting read. It goes through the history of Betty Crocker – ‘born’ in 1921 and how she was welcomed into kitchens and hearts. She became an icon- having her own radio show, answering fan mail and cooking classes around the country. Along with a wonderfully written biography on Crocker, history through the war years is given also. There are even recipes tossed in before the chapters! If you grew up with Betty Crocker, this is for sure a book you’ll want to read.

A Tiger in the Kitchen by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan – a memoir of food and family – yes, another food memoir. I am not very far along in this book either but so far it’s proving a good read. Cheryl grew up in Singapore, in the most food-obsessed city in the world. At eighteen, she left for America and became a fashion writer. In her thirties, though, the call to learn to cook the dishes her family made became undeniable and she braved the kitchen to try and recreate them. But was it too late? While cooking with her aunts, she learns not only the recipes but also family stories. 

Your Older Dog by Jean Callahan – this book indicates that I realized Lady is old. See, I’ve always thought of her as my puppy. The fact that she turns 9 this summer means nothing —until I started thinking about how slow she gets up in the morning, how much more she sleeps than she used to and she seems to be a little more attached to me and the OH. It makes me sad to realize it. But I grabbed this book since I want to get her out walking/jogging with me each week and don’t want to cause her pain. This book covers aging, first aid and preventive care, natural remedies, guide to most age-related problems and end stage issues. I of course flipped to the section of ‘exercise to keep your dog agile’. It has good content and am thinking it might be a good one to own.

DIY Dog Grooming by Jorge Bendersky – I admit, the cover is off-putting but I went through it the other day before I groomed Lady and learned a lot.  It first has you identify what hair type your dog has , tells you what tools to use and then step by step through the dog on brushing, trimmming, cleaning etc… Also includes solutions to common problems, picture tips and grooming solutions from your pantry (there’s even a page on essential oils and dogs).  Well done book. This is another one that I would like to own, but I would probably have to put a book cover on it… if you want to know what I’m talking about, just google it.

The Belly OFF Diet by Jeff Csatari – I wrote about this one last month and while I didn’t read too much more in it – majority of it left is the exercises they recommend, I did go through them and contemplate doing the work outs…. That’s as far as it went sadly. But I do love some of the recipes in here! They are going to stay in my ‘repetoire’. That taco salad is amazing. For a more thorough review on it, click here –  http://thestartofagoodlife.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/book-review-may/

 

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Fast, Fresh and Green by Susie Middleton – an amazing vegetable cookbook. It covers – quick-roasting, quick-braising, hands on sauteing, two-stepping, no cooking, stir frying,grilling and baking gratins. Yes, it’s that cool. I have fallen in love with a new cauliflower dish. YUM. I originally got this from the library, showed it to my mom who scored getting a few from amazon at a great price. Thanks mom!! The pictures are fantastic. The recipes are delicious. If you are looking to get vegetables in your diet more, this book is the way to do it. 

And that’s it my friends! What have you been reading this month? 

Fantastic Madagascar Chocolate and other delectables

26 Jun

Now, honestly, most of my week here in Portland has been spent on the couch here on my laptop/reading/playing dumb video games or sleeping in bed. In other words, pain has kept me firmly in its’ grasp. But, we did get out the other evening to go to Winco – the first time I’ve ever been there. And I promptly told my OH (other half) that we will be getting as much products there as we can (our non-dairy and other ‘specialty’ items we will have to shop elsewhere for), for how great are Winco’s prices? Goodness! 

Anyway, yesterday we went to visit some friends and also stopped by a few of our favorite places and got some treats that I have to tell you about. And if you want some, hop in your car and head to Portland =) 

We grabbed some hummus and pita breads from Ya Hala restaurant (a fabulous Lebanese restaurant) because that’s what you do when you come to Portland, you stuff yourselves full of amazingly perfect hummus and steaming hot-just-from-the-oven pita breads. This is one area where I purposefully forget that I am gluten-dairy-egg free because these breads are just too fabulously good. Yes, I have pictures….. 

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There’s a little ethnic grocery store – no I don’t know the name of it but I can tell you that it’s right next to the wonderful restaurant of Ya Hala  – that has so many items that I wish I could just snatch up to try! Sorry this picture is blurry but i was juggling the bag of seriously hot pitas, the container of hummus, and trying to keep the front flap of my phone’s cover out of the way, all while trying to get a photo quickly before Mike asked me what I was doing… 

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While there we grabbed some amaaaazing chocolate bars. Madecasse madagascar chocolate. MMM, They were a bit spendy for my typical thrifty ways, but sometimes, you’ve just got to splurge. He ate his right away but I decided to wait until we got back to our temporary ‘home’ and savor it. Which I was glad I did because then we ended up getting something that went perfect with it…. 

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That’s right – goat’s milk. But before you shudder and grimace and wonder where my sanity went, I want to remind you of something – I haven’t tasted cow’s milk (or as I term it ‘real milk’) in over 2 years now. And this stuff is amazing. It does still have a goat-y taste but it’s a whole lot more subtle than any other goats’ milk I’ve tasted over these past few years. I think I would use it more for cooking/baking rather than straight up drinking – I’m still a fan of almond milk for that – but this stuff is delicious. It went pretty well with the chocolate bar that I ate late last night. =)

Oh and here’s another picture of the treats we grabbed, and yes, i knew if i didn’t take pictures in the car, using my lap as the ‘backdrop’ I’d end up with no pictures at all. So, wipe the drool off your chin and don’t judge my fading jeans. 

 

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One other thing we did last night. We found our dream house. No, there’s probably no way ever that we will be able to buy it, but we both fell in love with it. Sigh. It’s fun to dream though.

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I-just-realized-july-is-going-to-be-busy

23 Jun

Happy Monday everyone! I am currently in Portland Oregon, here with my OH for his new job. Yes, you read that right. He now has a great job  in Portland. I dropped Lady off with my mom and packed my laptop, books and pages of notes I’ve been taking for growing this little blog of mine, and came up to be closer to him.

pouting after her bath

pouting after her bath

 

I was looking at what’s coming up for me and this is what I noticed:

Camp Nanowrimo – starts next week – Tuesday in fact! – in case you don’t know, this is part of nanowrimo (a place to write, have feedback and help with the whole process. yes, there’s more to it than that, but that’s my simple explanation). I have decided I’m going to work on a story I started in the beginning of the year. So, off and on, I have worked on ideas for it, and have high hopes to work on an outline this coming week. Now, I hate outlines. Always have. Completely tortuous things, outlines. But, as I have been reading more tips and whatnots for writing, they keep coming up. So, I thought I would try it this coming month.  We will see how it goes.

Meaningful Marriage Study – starts next week – Tuesday also! – I follow a blog, Life with Amberly and Joe  (http://www.lifewithamberlyandjoe.com/search/label/meaningful%20marriage%20book%20study) and I simply adore her writing. Her focus is her marriage. She is starting a series reading books about marriage. This time around it will be July through September. I am excited about this as it saves me the time of having to choose what book to read, and ‘makes’ me read it! I am planning on writing about it as we go along! =) This is an article that Amberly shared and I like the perspective it gives. I’ve never thought of the topic in such terms. Well worth the maybe five minutes of reading - http://www.lovethegrows.com/2012/10/infidelity-in-its-broadest-term.html

 

I am also trying to start a morning routine (although I will have to switch it a bit while here in Portland…) , the gist of it so far is get up, (heh, no, it’s not just a give-in that i’ll do that) , have a protein/carbs snack, go for a walk/run, eat breakfast, read, prayer/study time, blog… etc… I am hoping to still get out to some parks around here and walk but it won’t be almost everyday like I was able to do last week. (living across from a park has its perks). My plan for July is to get that more set and figured out. I like slow, physically-easy mornings lately, otherwise I get worn out too quickly and then I get frustrated and then all I want is ice cream and a chick flick. Not good.

So, while that might not look like too much to most of you – it’ll be a lot for me and my limited focusing ability (due to the migraines)! But, I am excited about all of it, plus other things I’m hoping to get to.

What are you looking forward to this coming month/ summer?

fun times last month with my dear friend Kori!!!

fun times last month with my dear friend Kori!!!

ijustrealizedjulyisgoingtobebusy

the drive to Portland. love the beauty around us!

Ijustrealizedjulyisgoingtobebusy

the gorgeous Mt. Hood

2014 Resolutions Revisited

19 Jun

Well, we are halfway through June already and I thought it could be fun to look back at our goals that we set at the beginning of this year and see how we’ve done with them! To read my post from January , click (http://thestartofagoodlife.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/2014-resolutions/ )

My Goals for this year:

~Get Health Back  -I have been more active (in large part due to my OH) in this goal. Doctor’s appointments, essential oils, listening to when my body says ‘stop!’ and trying new diets to see if they help. Sadly, I am still in the ‘slump’ that I have been in since last October, but the small glimmer of hope I have  is that even though they are still bad daily, I do seem to have a good portion of the day relatively-pain-free and have enough energy to be productive. Although, these past two days do not follow that pattern. So, while I have not made the progress I had hoped and prayed for I am clinging to the silver linings that I see. 

Travel - Aside from some trips to Portland or Eugene, this hasn’t happened at all. I do have plans to go visit my friend and her darling little girl end of next month though and am really-very-super excited about it!

Get in Shape to run a 5k - I must admit, that just this week I have laced up my running shoes, grabbed Lady’s leash and headed out for a walk. With the nice weather settled in, I decided I’d better get this goal going. I haven’t started running yet, gotta break the new (from the clearance rack!) shoes in and get Lady ready for more intense exercise. Since she’s 9 this summer and used to only random bursts of activity, I want to be careful in how quickly I get her running with me. 

courtesy of Laughing Tree Photography

courtesy of Laughing Tree Photography

Start Writing Again  – this one has been touch – and – go since January. But since I signed up for the Camp NANOWRIMO that starts in July, it should pick up quite a bit. I was able to focus for a bit today and worked on a story that I’ve got going. 

Become a better Housekeeper  – I think I have – mostly. The chronic pain makes it hard to keep it where I want it, but I feel like I have grown some in this area. I think part of that too, is just my attitude about it. Sometimes it can still get a little negative, but if I am able to think of it as the way that I contribute – since I’m not able to go out and work – it makes it easier. Plus, when I am just feeling awful but the dishes are bothering me, the OH steps in and does them. So nice. 

Figure out Niche for Blog – I think  I have, overall. I was thinking I would find a specific topic – baking, cleaning, writing, etc… – but I enjoy, and have heard from a few of you, that you enjoy the variety of topics. So, the continuation of this goal is :  get  a  blog button and recipe helper. Improve Photography. Improve Traffic. From what I’ve been learning, it looks like I’ll have to pay to upgrade my blog in order to do most of what I want to do on here, so, once money is a little less tight and non-existent, I’ll click that ‘upgrade’ button!  Speaking of which, I have recently gotten on Google+ – check me out under Laura Waxman! 

I have also added a few goals recently :

Start a morning routine   (I’ve started writing one out, once I finish it, I’ll share it with you!)

Send something special with my OH each week (notes, letter, baked treat etc)

 

How are you doing on your goals for this year? Did you completely forget about them? Or have you already fulfilled all of them? Please leave a comment below to share!

 

*To check out more photography from the seriously talented Viktorija – check out her website!   http://laughingtreephotography.com/

Jodie Llewellyn

The ramblings of an aspiring YA author.

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Jodie Llewellyn

The ramblings of an aspiring YA author.

ReFashionista

Change the way you think about fashion.

Emma in the Kitchen

...it's a seasonal affair

kheisen's Blog

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

gluten free zen

Taking The Stress Out Of Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Living, Cooking, and Baking

The River Walk

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

Jane Austen's World

This Jane Austen blog brings Jane Austen, her novels, and the Regency Period alive through food, dress, social customs, and other 19th C. historical details related to this topic.

Spilled Ink

Where Ink is Splattered All Over the Page...

The Celiathlete

GLUTEN FREE ~ MEAT FREE ~ RUNNING FREE

After The Wedding

One woman's lessons on life, love and grace . . .

Sugar Cane Allergy

Living Safe in a Processed World

gf and me

Gluten Free Recipes & Tips

THE SKY RUNNER

Fitness. Food. Finance.

housesandbooks

Thoughts about houses and books

Watching The Photo Reels Go Round And Round...

Snapshots of a self-taught photographer's photographic journey and process..."I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round, I really love to watch them roll... People asking questions lost in confusion, Well I tell them there's no problems, Only solutions..." --John Lennon

Daisy and the Fox

All things fun and beautiful

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