Social Media Overstimulation

13 Oct Social Media Overstimulation

Social Media OverstimulationI’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. But it wasn’t until I watched the video below that I decided to actually talk about it here on SGL . I am on some sort of technology a lot lately – whether it’s my ‘smart’ phone, laptop or tv – and I’m not too fond of that! I know that a lot of it is because of my health, with having so little ability to get out and do things, the lure of internet is strong.

But I want to fight back a bit against it. I want to pick up my crocheting again. I want to write more (which, I realize is still on the laptop, but it’s not surfing through pinterest….) I want to write letters to my friends. I want to start that challah bread cover I have plans for. I want to learn calligraphy. I could even get adventurous and pick up the guitar I own. Once we move, I can start piano again too (- currently it resides in my parents’ house).

To put it simply – I want to be present in my own life. I want to go toward the goals I have!

I am not saying I’m going to cut myself off completely from all the things I do online, after all I’ve got this blog and that requires not only writing each post but then the promotion that takes an awful lot of time each week. I am also a part of a writing group and contemplating joining another creative group. I enjoy these groups that encourage me to create, to work on my craft and push me toward the goal of creating an income for myself.

Some of you might have seen this video already, but I encourage you to watch it anyway. I have seen others like this, but I enjoy this one as it rhymes and that makes me happy, always. (why do you think I love Dr. Seuss?? )

can we auto-correct humanity?

Children’s Book Lineup

23 Oct

While going through some boxes a few weeks ago, I ran across a children’s story that I started writing years and years ago. While the characters are a little unimaginative – a frog and mouse are friends – I still like the idea and feel like I could take these two friends through so many different adventures and create a fun and wonderful world for kids to explore.

20141023_104909

I’ve always liked the idea of writing children’s books – I LOVE checking out this genre whenever I go into a bookstore. I inspect the flow of words, the artistry, the pictures themselves (do they tell the story without the words??) , is it a fun and engaging story for even the adult who is reading it to enjoy? When I find one that hits all of these marks for me, I get excited and have to show whoever I’m with (my mom gets it a bit more, my OH doesn’t quite understand the importance of it, heh).

So, I thought I would share some of my favorite children’s stories with you all today. I actually have started missing reading these regularly ( i worked with kids for about 10 years, so i read A LOT)

Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper – three friends- cat, squirrel and duck live in the woods and make their soup the same way everyday. but one day, duck wants to stir the soup instead of adding the salt and a terrible fight ensues. When duck leaves in a huff, his friends begin to worry about him.

Delicious by Helen Cooper - the three friends have another problem – there are no ripe pumpkins in their garden! So cat and squirrel make other soups to try and make duck happy, but all he wants is pumpkin soup. can his friends get him to try, and like something else? (Me and the little guy I nannyed years ago took to quoting part of this book, it is that wonderful)

A Pipkin of Pepper by Helen Cooper- you didn’t really think I was past these books by helen cooper did you??? Once again, the three friends have a soup problem, they are out of salt! They travel to the city to buy some but duck gets into trouble when he stays at the pepper shop too long and gets left behind. What follows is a delightful tale of cat and squirrel searching for him and finding him. i love the way they get back home too.

Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel  – classics right here folks.  In 5 delightful short stories, we see the wonderful friendship of frog and toad as they go through sickness, losing a button, funny swimming suits and no mail in the mailbox. The pictures in these are simple but i adore their style. (yes, I own a ‘vintage’ copy!)

Corduroy by Don Freeman –  please tell me you already know this story! this has been a favorite for years. Poor Corduroy wants a person all his own and just when it looks like a little girl is going to buy him off the department store shelf, he has lost a button! That night, he goes in search of it, only to be dissuaded by the night guard! The happy outcome of this story is so sweet. I also love the other books in this set. (yes, I own this one as well!)

Laura’s Star by Kaus Baumgart – laura is lonely one night and wishes for a friend. when she sees a star fall, she hurries outside and finds it lying hurt on the sidewalk. she bandages it and tells it all her secrets. but when she wakes in the morning, it is gone.  i mean, really, how can you go wrong with a storyline like this?? plus, my middle name is Starr, so it was a perfect gift from a friend. =)

and this last one is a suggestion from my OH -

Benjamin’s Balloon by Alan Baker – Benjamin blows up a balloon and so begins a traveling adventure that causes him a certain amount of worry. i want to read it now, don’t you??

There you are, folks, a completely-unplanned list of some of my favorite picture books.

What are some of your favorite children’s books? Are any of you also slightly obsessive about this genre?

Southwest Corn Chowder

20 Oct southwest corn chowder

I know, you’re thinking another soup recipe? But, other than the chili i made a few weeks ago, this is the first soup/chowder I’ve made this fall! (does chili even count as a soup/chowder?? it’s like it is it’s own catergory….)

But, I MUST share this soup recipe with you. I have been hearing its’ praises sung for several weeks now. Mainly from my mom (hi mom).

I mean, I’d never even tasted this soup and I knew it was going to be a favorite of mine. Makes a big pot to last for days and days (or, if you don’t eat like I do, you could freeze some for future meals!) Is decently healthy – I’m sure you could cut out the cream and it’d still be delicious. ( maybe cream doesn’t seem unhealthy to you, to me it screams fat which screams it’s-all-going-to-stick-to-my-thighs….)

Of course, being the special type that I am, I tweaked the recipe a bit. But, if you don’t have any food allergies and eat regular bacon, you’re home free.

southwest corn chowder

A friend of my brother and sister in law’s made this as a meal for them after they had their adorable daughter (whose hair is turning red! hehe!)  and they were nice enough to share some with my mom, who then had to have the recipe… who then wrote the recipe down for me. So, thanks brother and sister in law for having a cute little girl and getting meals delivered to your home =)

So, on to the recipe!!!

Southwest Corn Chowder

5 Strips Bacon (I used turkey)

1/2 to 3/4 large yellow onion – finely diced

3 celery stalks – diced

2 bags of 16oz frozen corn

6 potatoes, cut in small cubes (peel if you want)

4 chicken breasts – cubed

2 cloves garlic – minced

1/2 cube butter

1/2 c flour

1 pint coconut milk (or cream)

2 TBSP chili powder

8 c Chicken broth or stock

In your largest pot, brown bacon. i wish i would have chopped mine up before i cooked it so i didn’t have to pull it out of the pan and wait for it to cool, then cut.. anyway. brown bacon. add onion, celery and garlic. cook until onion is done, then add chili powder and potatoes.

In separate pan, cook chicken. Add dash of chili pepper. Add cooked chicken and corn to vegetable mixture. Then add butter. Stir until melted, then add flour and continue stirring.

Slowly stir in chicken broth. ( i only had 5 1/2 cups of chicken broth, which was okay, because my pan was full. so no worries if you’re short on this!)

When potatoes are cooked, finish by stirring in coconut milk and salt and pepper. (i didn’t use a full pint of coconut milk, i just poured one can – which is about 13 oz – into the soup)

Enjoy!

southwest corn chowder

(hopefully I’ll be able to start getting better food pictures. for now though, just appreciate the fact that I not only thought to take some, but that I waited to eat long enough to actually take them. )

What are your favorite fall soups/chowders??

~Laura

Taking Stock

9 Oct taking stock
taking stock
making: nothing, unless you count the book i’m writing
cooking:  nothing.
drinking: vegetable juice and water
reading:  The Whitney Chronicles, Around the World in 80 Days, 
wanting: an official move date!
crafting: nothing currently, but plans to start some soon
wishing: for a cute little golden retriever puppy, named copper perhaps?
enjoying: having my OH home for the weekend, and my dog laying directly under my legs snoring peacefully
waiting: for an official move date!! oh, i already said that —- all the features of our new house we are excited for – more counter space, bigger yard, more everything really, compared to our current place. 
liking:  anything acorn themed…. warm sweaters and cute beanies
wondering: if my health will ever get back to what it should be
loving: my dog – she’s so cute when we are on our morning walks
hoping: I can get ready for nanowrimo and get packed without getting overwhelmed
smelling: my husband is juicing right now, so it is a fresh, vegetable scent filling the house
needing: more sleep
 
wearing: a new-to-me pair of jeans, sweater and an old navy t-shirt
 
following: a new crochet blog! plus many other great blogs
 
noticing: I’m feeling a bit better since i’ve started juicing this week. 
 
thinking: I am a published author – completely forgot about it! 
 
bookmarking:  a LOT of crochet ideas. blogging advice. 
 
thanking: my mom for being willing to be my chauffeur so often ; my dad for texting me while he’s working out of town; the sweet thank you card + pictures i got from my sister in law; my Saviour for getting me through the horrible pain these past few weeks….months…years… several years…you get the idea
 
giggling:  i guess i’m not…?
 
feeling: tired. a tad frustrated but blessed – i know that is a bit of an odd combination but that’s where I am. 

Copy and paste and play along! Leave your link below!

Writing Prompt.

6 Oct

I just found a whole long list of writing prompts and I’m so excited about it. I am hoping to do these at least every few weeks, or whenever my brain is just stuck!!! Hope you enjoy.

prompt : Reinvent Golf as an extreme sport

He couldn’t remember how he had gotten into this. All his life he had told himself that he would never, ever get into an extreme sport. and now, here he was – playing golf. Golf had become an extreme sport about twenty-five years ago. People died over this game. Gone were the days of polite clapping and khaki pants – these days the spectators were almost a part of the game, screaming out which club to use, the distance to the hole and even getting in fistfights. The players had changed just as much – they were in it to win it, no matter what. The courses had been the first things to change though – cliffs on one side and a deep lake on the other added to the adrenaline rush of getting your small ball onto the green in the center.

And that’s what had changed – people wanted a bigger adrenaline rush from this sport. A bit of danger. A bit of daring – and a whole lot of betting.

Betting.That’s what had turned him off from it in the first place. He could still remember it so clearly –  being six years old, his old man a golfer. That day his old man had slapped his worn-out hat on his head, nodded at the boy and headed out to play for the right to keep their home. His old man had lost. And so, they had packed up and moved out – to the side of town that he had never been allowed to go to before. Food was scarce, school didn’t happen anymore and he hated it. All because his dad had been unable to resist that one lousy bet.

But now, ten years later, he found himself on the green, a club in his hand and a feeling of dread in his stomach. Golf. Who would have thought it would come to this.

~Laura

A List of Delicious Recipes

2 Oct

My mom pointed out the other day that I haven’t done any food posts in a while! And, while I’m sure this isn’t quite what she had in mind, I thought I would share recipes of the new recipes I’ve tried out these past few months! Well. honestly, the energy bites are a favorite for over a year now.  . . .

list of delicious recipes

Coconut Crusted Turkey Burgers –  i have made these 3 times now and love them, although they came out best the first time I made them. This last time they were a little too dry, not sure what I did differently. But i love the coating on the burger, giving it a whole lot more flavor than a turkey burger would normally have.

Skinny Baked Cauliflower Tots – umm, these are delicious!  I am a fanatic about tater tots and french fries – and I think I could eat these instead every time! I did use my sheep cheese, and only about a quarter of what they called for….and forgot the egg, heh. But they wer still deeee-licous!  I think these could be a sneaky way to get kids to eat their veggies.

Avocado Tomato Feta Toast Poached Eggs – yum yum and yum! With our allergies, I used our homemade Challah bread, sheep cheese and duck eggs. You must make this some weekend morning!!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread – This recipe looks fantastic, the pictures, the ingredients all got me so excited to make this! I made my own pumpkin puree and got right to work whipping this up! I ended up not being too excited about it in the end – the pumpkin flavor wasn’t strong enough and the glaze didn’t , well, glaze. It tasted really good but didn’t thicken the way it  was supposed to. I might have to try it again just because the recipe still calls to me.

No Bake Energy Bites – these are so simple to whip up. and so yummy! I typically do a double batch because one just isn’t enough!

I hope you found something to try in this short list!

~Laura

Book Review – Sept 2014

30 Sep

book review sept2014

“The Smallest Bookstore Still Contains More Ideas of Worth

Than Have Been Presented in the Entire History of Television.” -Andrew Ross

I disappeared there for a while, didn’t I? So sorry, I thought about you guys a lot if that’s any consolation. Not only has my body decided to behave worse than normal by adding in a few more pains and frustrations, it was Rosh Hashannah last week! My OH and I were able to go to a local community’s service for it. It was the first time I had been a part of a service for this special day so it was cool to be able to attend. This week is Yom Kippur, so I don’t know if I’ll end up missing posting again but for today we have this months’ book review!

I must say that I love the quote for this month. It kind of makes me chuckle for the truth of it.

And now let’s get on to the books! I didn’t get near as much reading done this month but two of them I have absolutely LOVED!

  • The Merchant’s Daughter – by Melanie Dickerson – Once the daughter of a wealthy merchant but now an indentured servant, Annabel faces danger and and choices she’d never dreamed of. Caught between the slimy baliff who presses his attentions on her and the new Lord Ranulf who is rumored to be beastly and absolutely terrifying, she believes that life in a nunnery is the way to solve her problems. But as her encounters with Lord Ranulf result in feelings of safety and happiness, Annabel must struggle to face her feelings and decide which plans she will follow – hers or God’s. ACK! I love this book. Last month I had just started it and mentioned it briefly in the review for August. It is now one of my favorites that I will probably end up buying.
  • The Healer’s Apprentice – by Melanie Dickerson  — As a woodcutter’s daughter, Rose knows that her opportunity to train under the healer of Hagenheim Castle is a rare opportunity. Even though she gets squeamish at the sight of blood she wants to prove herself capable. When Lord Hamlin is injured and Rose is the one to heal his wound, she feels emotions toward him that she knows are forbidden, for he is betrothed to a mysterious lady in hiding. —and yes, she did it again folks!! another favorite! The twists and turns that she incorporates into her stories are wonderful.
  • A Voice in the Wind – by Francine Rivers — Falling in love with a handsome aristocrat is ridiculous but that’s just what Hadassah has done. She clings to her faith that God will deliver them from decadent Rome while struggling with her feelings.  — I don’t know about this one. I’m really trying to like this novel . I feel like there are too many characters that seem to have no connection to each other and no real forward movement with the plot line…. I’m 80 pages into the almost 500 and still not sucked in. Normally at this point I just give up on it but I’ve been told that it is really good so I’ll probably dive back into it in the next few days. I’ll let you all know if my opinion changes.
  • Libby’s Story – by Judy Baer — A chance encounter brings together tenderhearted and loyal Libby Morrison and sensitive and angry Reese Reynolds. While Libby is struggling to take care of her aging parents and Reese is nursing self-pity over being paralyzed, their friendship slowly blossoms. — I really enjoy this book. It is actually the third in a ‘series’ ( i can’t find anything that says it is actually a series…) It is enjoyable on its’ own but much more so after having read the first two. Each covers the story of the three friends, Jenny, Tia and Libby. (Jenny’s Story, Tia’s Story and this one, Libby’s Story)
  • An Unexpected Match – by Gayle Roper — As an upstanding Amish woman, Rachel Beiler can’t believe what she’s doing. She begins a hidden life as a college student. All she wants to do is learn but she doesn’t know yet how it will change her and what it will cost her. On the first night of class she meets two people – Amy Steiner who has secrets of her own and Rob Lanier an army vet. — ummm, YES! As I’m sure you know if you’ve read at least a few of my book reviews, I love stories about the Amish. And this one has a plot that I’m not used to seeing so it was very fun to read and I definitely got drawn in quickly.

And that’s it! I think this is the least amount of reading I’ve done all year! But, I’m all set to start one of my favorite novels, Mara: Daughter of the Nile and have another favorite coming from the library!

Happy Reading friends and do share what you’ve been reading lately!

~Laura

My Hometown

23 Sep

If there was anywhere to land at the age of 8, after moving ‘most every year growing up, I’m glad we landed in Bend, Or. I love it here. Don’t know why? Let me share that with you for today’s Blog-tember Challenge   –  A guide to your city! Share some of the hot-spots and hidden gems of where you live.

Here’s a list of the Top 10 things I love about where I live! PilotButteBend

  • Pilot Butte- right in the center of town, it offers a 360 view of this tourist destination! You’re able to see all the mountains that, if you’re a skier, snowboarder or what-have-you-in-the-snow, is the reason you’re probably here! sparkslakebend
  • Sparks Lake – stunning, beautiful and a wonderful place to go kayaking or hikingdrakeparkbend
  • Drake Park – we have a plethora of parks here but this one is my favorite. it follows the winding path of the Deschutes River, and you can kayak/canoe in its’ shallow waters.  there are events in the park through the year, two things that hold my heart to it are: the Flashback Cruz and the fact that my OH proposed there! steinspillarbend
  • Steins Pillar – a 350 foot tall tower in the high desert, this is a beautiful view at the end of a 4 mile hike. when i did it, i only did half of it but next time i plan on going all the way to the base of it! mtbachelorbend
  • Mt. Bachelor – THE place for fun in the snow! of course, i’ve only been there in the summertime, heh. highdesertmuseumbend
  • High Desert Museum – this museum is 135 acres full of animals, interesting history and great exhibits all about the high desert. There are hands-on learning events for everyone and it’s only 5 minutes from Bend tacostandbend
  • The Taco Stand – a tiny tucked-away taco place with great prices and great food… a must when visiting!  gregsgrillbend
  • Greg’s Grill – complete opposite of the taco stand but because you’re in Bend, you can wear the exact same thing to either! Great service and really yummy food! with a beautiful view of the Deschutes River.This is where we go for a nice ‘date night’ =) deschutesbrewbend
  • Deschutes Brewery – this is how they describe it “A classic English pub atmosphere, with a distinctly Oregon twist, come visit us and see where it all began.” they’ve been around since 1988 and the food is fantastic. i’m not a big beer drinker…wait, i have one sip of my OH’s on the super rare occasion so I can’t vouch for their drinks but their food??? MM mm good.  we only go here once in a great while but it’s ah-mazing!pilotbutteburgersbend
  • Pilot Butte Drive In- umm, this is also a must-eat place. Amazing burgers. Kinda pricey burgers for my ultra-thin wallet but yum! And their fries are absolutely addicting

well, I hope you enjoyed this little look into my hometown!

Have you ever visited Bend? What’s your favorite place where you live?

~Laura

Our Honeymoon in Florida

18 Sep

Today’s another Blog-tember challenge day!!!

Tell a tale of traveling, a city or country you’ve been to or a favorite vacation.

I had originally planned to tell of my trip to Spain, but apparently those photos are only on my parents computer! so, I decided to share our honeymoon! It was so much fun, even though we had to get up super duper early the day after our wedding to catch a ride up to Portland to catch our flight to Florida! And yes, we went to DisneyWorld. I think we were the only couple who didn’t gain weight on our honeymoon! With all our allergies and doing the crazy amount of walking we did, I think we actually lost weight!

Our hotel was super super nice, but we had to catch a public bus to get to downtown Disney in order to get a Disney bus to go to Epcot, Animal Kingdom or  Magic Kingdom. In other words, it was a little interesting making sure our timing was right for the bus schedules!  I was glad I had packed my ever-trusty Chaco sandals for all the walking we did, but on almost the last day, the heat and swelling of my feet caused some serious blisters!

So we started out at Downtown Disney. So fun there – they had a serious Lego store which I could have splurged at like crazy if I was a millionare, which I’m not. So I didn’t.  I loved the Christmas store (poor OH) , Mickey store and there was a sandwich shop that was primarily where we ate out. (Disney + food allergies = difficult) Plus they had a Pooh and Tigger statues you could catch a photo with!

Then we went on to Epcot – which I absolutely loved. That you can walk through different ‘countries’ was so cool – it would have been so fun to be able to grab food from some of them too. ha. Then, there was a miniature train village set up and I have since decided I want one like it! It was on a little hill side and had everything. SO COOL. I love trains. (yes,  i realize i sounded a bit like a six year old boy when i said that.)

The next day we went to Animal Kingdom. We didn’t enjoy it as much, honestly. It seemed to be geared more for kids.The walk through the ‘jungle’ seeing the animals was cool. And we rode a ‘train’ around the whole place but ended up wishing that we had skipped it and gone straight to the Magic Kingdom.

Sadly, due to the traveling and so much physical activity, I got a migraine the next day so we stayed at the hotel and I slept most of the day away. The OH was sweet and searched out some food and a deck of cards for us later in the day. Thankfully, I felt better the next day so we were able to go to the Magic Kingdom. Sigh of happiness right there.

The rides at all the places were fun, we didn’t get pictures with any characters because the lines were crazy long and I just don’t have that patience, we ran two blocks through a downpour to get to our hotel, we ran a LOT to catch the correct bus, we got blisters on our feet and got ripped off by a ‘christian’ taxi driver and  on the way back my OH had to sit next to a guy that doesn’t believe in deodorant or bathing… but it was a wonderful time. We were ready to be home by the last day. We missed having more options/less expensive food.

We are discussing going to DisneyLand for our 2nd anniversary, which he’s never been to and I went there  for my 15th birthday. Is it kind of obvious that i’m a Disney  nerd??

first row is at Downtown Disney

next bunch odd are Epcot

yes, that is an M&M vending machine… how COOL is that??

next bunch is Animal Kingdom – how often do you get to see a hippo swim right in front of you?

the rest are Magic Kingdom.  – bottom right is Rapunzel’s castle (!) and the last is of a piano man that played incredible!

Have you been to DisneyWorld or Land? What was your favorite part?

New Home Ideas

15 Sep oregon home print

Another wonderful day of the Blog-tember Challenge! It is already halfway through the month , I really cannot believe it. As I’m working on this, my little house is smelling a bit like a wet dog (probably due to the , ahem, wet dog lying in the corner… the bath earlier today was very needed) and classical music is softly playing in the background. Sigh. Calm afternoons are nice.

Sept 15th: Make a mood board. Are you brainstorming a room re-do, or are you dreaming of glamping with gal-pals? Share a collage of any kind!

I have been dreaming of how to decorate our new home once we move!!! These are some ideas I love – enjoy!

What have you been dreaming of doing different in your home? 

Esther Ju*Lee

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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.

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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

Esther Ju*Lee

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff

Farmhouse38

A little bit of farm in the city.

chucksforchancho

Ideas worth crafting. Memories worth keeping.

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...

Sugar Cane Allergy

Living Safe in a Processed World

Gluten Free Recipes & Tips

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

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