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Monday, December 3, 2012

College VoxBox 2012... it has arrived!!!

So I got this wonderful box full of stuff the other day, and I am just so excited to tell you guys about it. I previously talked about Influenster. It is a neat site that occasionally, depending on participation, sends out VoxBoxes (themed boxes of free stuff). The one I just received was college themed. It contained an awesome Pentech pen, tropical NECCO wafers, cute imPress press on nails, Sheets energy strips, and NYC eyeliner. Since "full-price" is pretty much the f word in our house, getting a box of free stuff rocks. I feel like a dork, but I think my favorite thing I got was my pen. It writes purple, which is right up my alley, because it is almost traditional, but just a little off. Anyway, here is a picture and a video of me opening it!




video

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Interview with the Gypsy, herself!

Ok so here is the long awaited interview with the owner of The Opal Gypsy, Shanda Sillings-Roderick! Sorry it took me so long to post this. My computer was being worked on by Awesome Guy's best friend. And I am sooooooo glad to have it back! So here we go...




Me: Tell me about yourself
Shanda: Well, Let's see, I'm 42. I'm a mother of 4. My youngest one died 8 years ago, in a house fire (and I'll explain more about that later, but part of my business is going to help people who have been devastated and displaced from house fires.) I've got two daughters, almost 26 and 23, and my son is 13, and my youngest would have been 11. I was born in Louisville, raised in New Albany and I just got back here 2 years ago.
Me: Oh wow. Where did you go?
Shanda: Quite a few different places, Kansas, Illinois, and back to here. My background is in interior design and art.
Me: That is apparent. Well that's very interesting. Ok, now tell me about your business.
Shanda: It's called The Opal Gypsy. Opal was my grandmother, and I was her little gypsy, and from the time I could walk, she was always taking me to garage sales, flea markets, antiques stores, barns... and we would always find treasures. You know, "one man's junk is another man's treasure...?" and she would turn them into these remarkable, beautiful pieces. And that's how the name came about. And in her era, they reused everything, they didn't waste anything. They repurposed and recycled everything, because they had to to survive. Now it's in style to do it, it's the green movement, but our ancestors have been doing it since the beginning of time, because they had to, and so that was a huge influence. So I love to redo and repurpose furniture. It's always been my dream to own my own store.
Me: So what got you interested in actually owning a store, and not just having a presence on Etsy or places like that?
Shanda: I don't know. It's just sort of something I've always wanted to do, and my house was never big enough for me to store everything I found. And I just like the idea of having a store and being able to offer this to the people. And, also, to help local artists, and giving them a platform to sell.
Me: How did you get your start?
Shanda: I saw Dave Thrasher at the farmer's market and saw that the bookstore was going out of business, and I had been kind of looking, not actively, but putting it together in my head, and I saw they were moving out, of course, I wasn't ready yet, but I just couldn't pass up the great deal and the location.
Me: What a big risk. In your industry, the market is always changing...
Shanda: Yes, and I've always kind of had a good eye for what people want and what is going to sell, that's why I always try to keep new stuff coming in everyday. You just never know what the Gypsy is going to bring in... My vintage items have been selling like crazy.
Me: What did you start with?
Shanda: A storage shed full of stuff and vintage finds that I've been collecting over the years. I mean, I had to spend a little money getting clothes and some accessories in, but I've spent minimally. I bought a 5 gallon thing of mud and a couple gallons of paint and the rest is all repurposed. Like, that wall, it's recycled grocery bags. It's peg board, and it's ugly, so I wallpapered grocery bags to it. All this wood came from an old farm house. And I got spools from one of the local antique malls to use to hang clothes on. The only thing I really had to buy was this hanging system. We had to get brackets to make sure it was something really secure for clothes. Pretty much everything in here, I've either gotten really cheap at flea markets, or I made it myself. That's the whole purpose of my store is reusing. I wanted to make sure all of my fixtures and displays were reused. I didn't want to go out and buy brand new because it goes against the whole purpose of my store, and in honor of my grandmother and how she lived.
Me: Where do you see your business in the next year?
Shanda: I see it being very successful. People are still getting to know us. We are only 2 months old, and hopefully by next year I will be able to carry full lines of clothes. And Tom's shoes. I'm trying to find new companies that give back. I try to carry things that are moderately priced, and a lot of those places are more high-end. I have to consider my price point, and my market. I don't want to out price my customers.
Me: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Shanda: 5 years... I'd like to have a bigger building, but I've noticed sometimes when smaller businesses get too big too fast, they don't do as well. So, I'd like to keep it small, and maybe find what people like, and maybe offer some services. I'd like to have a closer storage unit, so I can have a surplus of furniture.
Me: What do you want for New Albany?
Shanda: It's going in the right direction. I'd like to see Main Street built up better, and I'd like to see State Street cleaned up. It's just so trashy. I'd like to see it built up in ownership. I'd like to see more people that care about what it looks like.
Me: What did you want to be when you were a little girl?
Shanda: Fashion designer or interior design.
Me: What, as a mom, is your favorite go to meal?
Shanda: Vegetable soup or grilled cheese. I use shredded cheese, not processed cheese.


I didn't have time to take my own pictures because I've been kind of busy, and wanted to hurry up and post this because I felt so bad for taking so long. But I DID steal some from their Facebook page.
Here is some lovely turquoise jewelry. I love the way the earrings are displayed!

These clocks are made by a local artist here in New Albany. The one on the bottom is called a "flitter bug". Both clocks are made from reused vintage or antique items.

I am a huge fan of locally made soaps! 
These owl necklaces are just too cute

Pashmina scarves in a variety of colors.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Live and Love Local!

       Ok, so I don't know if you have noticed, but I am crazy about this fair city that I live in. It is really starting to grow into a very neat place. I am going to start a series once a week where I interview a local independent business owner. Partially because I want to share some local lovin', and because I want to draw people here to shop and eat, and because I intend to show that these people are just normal people that had a dream, or noticed that their neighborhood didn't have a shop that sold this or that, or saw a need for this or that type of restaurant, and finally, I want to encourage and inspire you to discover the little gems in your own community.

       Next Tuesday I will be interviewing the always lovely, Shanda Sillings-Roderick. She owns a nifty little shop that just opened up across the street from my work,called The Opal Gypsy. If you click on the name of her business, it will take you directly to her facebook page. In her shop you will find an eclectic mix of handcrafted furniture, local honey, handmade soaps, fun clothes and shoes, and plenty of funky jewelry. I can't wait to share with you guys!



Product Review: Salon Grafix Conditioning Cleanser

I have oily hair. It drives me nuts. I also have dry ends, I assume because I use a straightener. I saw all those commercials for WEN, but I don't shop from home shopping networks or infomercials. Plus, it seems very expensive. But I noticed in my local Walgreen's a few brands that are fairly mainstream putting out similar products. The deal is, you use one product that is supposed to replace your shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, and detaingler. You supposedly never have to shampoo your hair again.

The one I decided on was called Salon Grafix Healthy Hair Nourishment: Conditioning Cleanser. I was skeptical at first, because putting anything that resembled a conditioner anywhere near my roots seemed like a perfect storm for dirty looking hair later on. I recently colored my hair red, also, and red has a tendency to fade quickly. Most of us have noticed an influx of products sans parabens and sulfates, so I guess I was jumping on that bandwagon as well.




Here is the description from the product's website:
Our lather-free Conditioning Cleanser is a true hair care miracle that cleanses your hair without stripping the natural oils it needs to stay healthy, shiny and full of body. It is a single step hair care regimen that will replace your shampoo, daily conditioner, deep conditioner, leave-in conditioner and detangler, all in one product.

I would say that it pretty much lived up to it's claim. I do shampoo once every 2 weeks, just to be sure that any residual dirt,oil, and product are definitely gone. But, that's mostly for my own peace of mind. After a good cut and a day or so of using this stuff, most of the dryness is gone, and my hair doesn't appear oily at the end of the day. I am definitely not going back to shampooing every day.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A neat way to get educated quickly for the upcoming election

       So this year in particular has flown by (for me, at least). Halloween snuck up on me. I found myself waking up in the middle of the night Tuesday to run and find my costume box and rummage through it to find something to wear for Wednesday. So the next thing to worry about is Thanksgiving, of course!

       Nope. It's elections. I think it is paramount to vote. I am a young woman, and I know women fought too hard and for too long for me to just blow off my right to vote. There was just one problem, I had no clue who or what to vote for. I won't vote if I'm not educated, and I won't not vote. So, since this year has been moving so quickly for me, I have neglected to get educated. The election is next week, and last week I couldn't tell Mitt Romney from my local barber. I needed to study up on local and national politics, and fast! So, like any self respecting 20-something that wants to know something, I turned to my buddy, Google (he knows everything). I typed "who should I vote for?" into my search field. And up came the most awesome thing. It's called Project Vote Smart. I love it. Basically, it asks you what you think about abortion, marriage equality, budget, economy, and more. You answer the questions and it tells you how much each candidate agrees with your personal views and priorities. At any time you can click on a candidate and see how they have voted, and a summary of their public record. I love it. It helps me make an informed decision. But it is not just for the Presidential Election, it also does the same thing for the Congressional candidates.

       Just wanted to let everyone that, like me, haven't been able to keep up with all the banter and smear campaigns. This seems like a great way to make an unbiased decision, and not get confused by the hype and propaganda. You can check it out by clicking on the link above. Let me know in the comments what you think!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I tasted something WONDERFUL!!!!! Also excuse my mess while I remodel...

       Ok so I wanted to tell you guys about something epically awesome that I tried the other day. It is called "Better than Sex Cake." No, seriously. It's super easy and really yummy. Basically you make a German Chocolate cake and poke holes in the top. Then, pour condensed milk all over the top. Next, pour caramel over all of that deliciousness. Now, top it with whipped cream and sprinkle chopped Heath pieces all over it. MMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmm! It is great and seems awfully simple.

       Next on my agenda, I made a veil for my best friend's wedding. I think it turned out pretty well, but I didn't know if I should post pictures and a tutorial. I just thought I'd ask if you guys were even interested.

       I have decided to do a big remodeling project on here and try to blog on a semi normal schedule. Also to have some weekly or monthly thematic posts. I would ask what you think, but I don't usually get a whole lot of feedback so I will just assume that it was a unanimous and resounding agreement.

       One last thing, if you know me in my personal life, you know that I have a real problem with paying for anything without a coupon or some sort of deal. I am definitely not an extreme couponer, but I would definitely say that I am a FAN of couponing. I mostly think that it is socially irresponsible not to try to get the most out of our money. Anyway, my fiancee and I regularly complete surveys online to get things like gift cards and Microsoft Points. It kind of pays for the things that don't fit in our budget that we still really want. One of the sites I like to hang around on is called Influenster. It is a neat place where you can find product reviews, or write your own. But they give you badges for different things. Like, being a mom, or a bride-to-be, or a gamer. Things like that. They just did a massive overhaul of their site and they are a lot easier to navigate. One really cool thing they do is send out these boxes, called VoxBoxes. They are filled with new products to test. I was an idiot recently and got a new phone and neglected my email, my blog, and basically my laptop in general. Since I did this, I missed out on getting one of the precious VoxBoxes. I felt like a lame. Well, that is really how I generally feel, but this amplified it. Basically what I'm saying is.... get over there if you are interested, and check them out. They give you achievements, and who doesn't love earning achievements??

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lacy tries to be perfect... trouble ensues... raise your hand if you're surprised.... anybody?

       So things with FH and I are bad, not catastrophic, just... bad. No fun. No doubt we love each other, and we sure do want to get married still. We just aren't giving 100% right now. Which stinks. He won't accept that he has done anything wrong, and I can't stop telling him everything I think he is doing wrong.

      One example is housework. (If he reads this, I am sure he will roll his eyes right here) He does next to no housework. Usually I break down every week or so and tell him how much I need him to help me around the house. Which results in me crying, and him telling me that he doesn't think I am doing enough around the house, either. At least I do SOMETHING. And I don't walk around acting like I am entitled or something.

       I am certainly not the best housekeeper on he whole world. I don't do the dishes every day, and I don't vacuum every week. But I do regularly wipe down, and the dishes stay mostly done, and the floors DO get swept, mopped, and vacuumed. Laundry gets sorted, washed, and folded, and the bathroom gets wiped down, and dinner gets made. I know I stay home, and am expected to do the majority of the housework... but all of it? That doesn't seem fair. I read once that there what we need out of romantic relationships is able to be broken down into 5 categories. The one that really speaks to me is Acts of Service. Here is the definition of Acts of Service:
       Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.

       Honestly, that's exactly how I feel. Like no matter how much I tell that it means a lot to me that he do the dishes voluntarily, or clean up the living room, or sweep and mop the kitchen and/or bathroom... he doesn't care. I mean, he has promised that he would work harder, do better next time, once he even hopped up and worked and did a great job... but it stopped as soon as he didn't think I was working hard enough. But geeeeeeeez! Working hard enough?! I may not work at 110% every single day, but I definitely put over 40 hours a week in on a regular basis. 


       When I talk to other women, they say that it's just the way it is. Why should I accept that?  That men just don't do housework. That seems wild, and primitive... My response (in my head) to him when he tells me he doesn't feel like I do enough is : "Well HELL!! I wish I was doing NOTHING all day but watching Netflix and drinking hot tea! That would be wonderful." But no, I just say ok, and I do as well as I can from then on until I feel like I'm the only one taking care of the house... approx. 1 1/2 weeks later when the whole cycle starts over.

       It is exhausting. So my new plan started last week. I noticed that while I was out one day, he put his own clothes away, right out of the laundry basket. Without me getting them out and setting them on his side of the bed. He showed real initiative. So 2 days ago I told him it was time for the ole "household talk." He immediately started to shut down. All I said was that I had noticed that he had taken it upon himself to put his laundry away, and that I really appreciated it. The next day he made breakfast (which happens often enough, not completely out of the blue) but what really blew my mind was that he washed the pan he made the eggs in!!!!!!! (he didn't wash the rest of the dishes we ate off of or with, but hey... a win is a win!)

       Fast forward to today, and we are back to not getting along. Ugh, I really thought this positive reinforcement thing would work. Gaaaaah! What do I do?? I am trying to navigate this whole thing, but it sucks. Seriously, sucks. I keep thinking, it isn't a deal breaker, but I really don't think I can live my life with him without any domestic help whatsoever. 

       So all of you marital veterans, help me out! Even if you aren't married to some wonderful person, and you have some experience with living with your significant other, or a past significant other. Please help a sista out.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

4 things I love about napkins

Ever used an idea generator? I just did, so here is my comprehensive list of the  9  4 best thing about napkins. Ok, seriously, this could turn out to be one of the funniest or most boring posts I have ever done.

Number 1- Napkins make me feel cleaner. No, really... anytime I have dinner, I need a napkin in my lap. Anytime I don't have one, it always seems like I have yucky fingers or drop something right where my napkin WOULD have been.

Number 2- You always know whether or not you are in a fancy restaurant by whether or not they have cloth napkins, and if the napkins are folded into pretty designs... like swans... I looooove swan napkins... I also love Sheldon.

Number 3- Napkins can also be used as bibs for messy babies, and toddlers, and most teenagers, also fiances. ;-) (everyone knows a mommy would never need to use a bib)



Number 4- They are great for using as paper to jot down important things, like tic tac toe while you're waiting for your food.

Ok, I tried.... there are plenty of great things about napkins, I just don't know if I can think of 9... I really think my brain was almost going to explode. So really, I was trying to make an interesting post for you guys that was out of the ordinary and impulsive... Do you guys know anything else that can be done with a napkin, or some great reason to love them? Let me know, leave a comment below!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Is my kid going to end up in Anger Management??

       I have noticed more and more people talking about how people my generation and the one before it don't discipline our children firmly enough. Mainly, we don't spank them enough. However, I have read many articles and studies claiming that spanking our children, results in a more violent generation of adults in the future. Basically, violence begets violence.

       So what actually works? I look at it two ways. The first way is that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. My family, on my mother's side in particular, uses a lot of extremely old fashioned remedies and methods. One example is how we wean our kiddos (from a bottle, pacifier, or potty training). We use the farmer's almanac to decide the best days to start weaning. (If you're interested, here is the link: best days to potty train/wean) So from that standpoint, my parents parent's spanked them when they acted up, and my parents spanked me when I got out of line... so logically I would spank my children. I mean, I'm ok, right?

Right?

       I am definitely NOT ok. I am agressive, and have a really bad temper. It doesn't take much to get my blood boiling.Some might attribute it to my Irish heritage. (Before someone that has met me chimes in, you would say that I look nothing like someone with Irish decent, but that's because of the Native American on my mother's side. So suck it... ;)...) But I prefer to blame my parents. Not because I don't think they did everything in their power to be great parents, but because they spanked me, so now I really believe the hype that I am predisposed to hit. But I don't just want to spank my daughter to discipline, I want to hit anyone that I think needs to be reprimanded. I don't. I am capable of knowing what is socially acceptable and what isn't, I'm just saying what I want to do... I will admit, however that I have a big problem making normal connections in my brain with how to act, with regard to emotion... but I doubt that has much to do with my parents.

       Either way, I wonder if maybe I should be doing more time outs, and taking toys away, but I don't know if my kiddo will actually get it.... Let me know what you think. What is YOUR standpoint on all this? Comment below!!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bad Girl... always gets what she wants

So I did it again, and I apologize. Sorry for neglecting you. I was down about not completing the challenge, and then life just hit me full force. I have a few things planned, so that should keep me pretty active on here. I guess I should start off by announcing my engagement to Awesome Guy... he asked me on April 24, and it was beautiful, low key, and perfect. Aaaaaaand here we go with the avalanche of vlogs and blog posts.... yaaaaay!!!!! And by the way, Awesome Guy will now be referred to as... Future Husband, or FH.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for... Kites!




This is what my kite looks like
I love flying kites. It isn't something I do more than once a year, but it's always such a treat when I remember to get out my spider man kite on a windy day and just let it float up to the sky. I'd love to take A to fly a kite, I think he would really enjoy it... it just needs to warm up and get a little LESS windy. I don't want my kite torn up, I've had it for a few years, and would like to have it a couple more years. I thought I'd post a few pictures of some cool kites, hopefully it will inspire you to go do something fun, and free, on a nice day where you live!
This is what I WISH my kite looked like
How serene!


Seriously, how freaked out would you be if you saw this behind you??





















Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for... Just what I've always wanted!

To be brutally honest, my life has been a shitstorm for the last 27 hours. But in the big picture, I have everything I want, well ALMOST... I have, and intend to marry, the man of my dreams, my daughter is not only beautiful, but exceedingly smart, and I have a decently priced apartment in a great little corner of the world. I couldn't be more blessed! That's actually all I have to say for today, short n sweet... just like me!

Peace,
Flower

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for... Imagination

... as in, I don't have an imagination. I really don't. when I was a little girl, I couldn't play with Barbies very long because I felt silly making them talk to each other, because in reality, I was just talking to myself, and I knew it. That lack of imagination has now bled into my adulthood. When I play with the kids around me, I always sound like such a jerk. For instance, my kid was stomping around a few months ago saying "When I grow up, I'm gonna be a giant, mommy!" I informed her that it isn't possible to be a mythological creature when you grow up. Awesome Guy was appalled. He told me not to crush her dreams like that. I wasn't trying to be mean, just realistic. Anyway, I don't think there is anything wrong with not having an imagination, but I always kind of wished I had one.

Peace!

Flower

H is for... Hang in there

I know this kind of negates the last post, but I think I can link them. While there are times I definitely think you should let go, I also think sometimes, even when it's against all odds, you should hang in there. Maybe you didn't get the promotion you wanted, or maybe you keep trying to have a baby, and it feels like it's never gonna happen. Just hang in there. God has a plan, and maybe the timing is a little off. Maybe there's a better job headed your way, or maybe someone else needed that job more, don't assume that you know what's best, because I can assure you that you don't know what you need more than He does. Short post, but I think it's kind of profound, plus I need to catch up!




Peace,

Flower

G is for... Giving Up

I know the title is a little shocking, but hear me out. Sometimes, I think it is just as important to learn when to give up as it is to know when to keep fighting. In my own life, this is when I let go of trying to stick to my ever present agenda, and just let life happen. Awesome Guy asked me the other day if I would be ok with waiting maybe another 3 years before we get married. What could I say? It seemed I didn't have a choice. I could easily go find someone else who would marry me within my own imposed timeline, but it wouldn't be HIM... which is the most important part. This is the part of my life where I just have to give in and let this stuff happen when it does. A friend told me that it seemed unfair to me to have to wait that long when it is CLEARLY not what I want, but then I decided to turn it around and say that it wouldn't be fair for me to push him when it is CLEARLY not what he wants.

I am a control freak by nature. I just have a hard time relinquishing control when I want to be in charge of every little detail. It kills me to know that this isn't a time where I can just put everything into motion the way I want. But maybe, giving up at just the right time is another avenue of success. It's times like these that I just need to remind myself that God is in control, and I just need to relax. Maybe there's something in your life that you need to give up on in order to move forward? Let me know whatcha think!

Peace!

Flower

Monday, April 9, 2012

F is for... Flowers, Followers, Fail- meals, and almost- Famous mommas

So I have a jam packed F post for you guys. First, let's talk about flowers. I love them, I love seeing them when I go walking, I love when Awesome Guy brings them home to me, I love when I see pictures of them... you get the point. I just think it's great that they just grow to be aesthetically pleasing. Just something God does for us, to maybe bring a little smile to our faces. So I've been waiting for this post so I could talk about this beautiful simple arrangement I put together last week.

I was taking the trash out the other day and noticed these pretty tulips growing on the fence line of this abandoned apartment. I took 4 and left the remaining 4 for others to enjoy. I figured since they're perennials, and they only bloom once a year, they will bloom next year and nobody would care so much. Awesome Guy thinks I stole them, I figured someone that used to live in that apartment planted them, so now they belonged to no one. As I was walking back to the house, I saw these blue flowers, I think they are weeds, but who cares? They were pretty, and I knew they would look great with the red tulips.


On to Followers. I am so thankful to all of you that follow my blog! This challenge has opened up my facebook page, and expanded my number of followers on here. It makes me so happy to feel like I'm writing something that other people actually want to read about!

As for Fail- meals... ugh... I made something that tasted delicious, but when I pulled it out of the oven, it looked like someone literally defecated in 2 of my pans. Only one was covered in cheese. Here's a picture:

What is this nastiness? It is supposed to be hash brown casserole. It actually tasted wonderful, but looked like nothing anyone wanted to put in their mouth. Let me know if you want the recipe, yours probably won't look like this, because you should use frozen hash brown potatoes.I, on the other hand, didn't have the frozen kind, I had regular potatoes, and a grater... so I grated them myself. But what happens when potatoes are oxygenated? They turn brown, and make your casserole look like poop.

My other Fail- meal actually turned out beautiful, but Awesome Guy reeeeeally didn't like it. He ate enough to be polite, but I know him better than anyone, and I KNOW he was just being nice. It was stuffed pork chops, but they were stuffed with peach stuffing. Again, if you want the recipe, let me know and I'll do a post on it. Since this is such a long one, though, I don't want to make it that much longer by putting the whole recipe, but here is how it turned out: 

Now about my almost- Famous momma. My mother is a glass artist and some of her art made it into a very well known gallery around here. There were actually two well known galleries, but now they are merging. The gallery is called Flame Run. She was one of the featured artists in their grand reopening. Here she is with her art.



I am so proud of how much she has accomplished in over just over ten years. If you happen to be interested in any of her art, let me know and I'll hook you guys up, sorry, my brother and I are her biggest promoters. anyway,

Peace and procrastination!

Flower





Sunday, April 8, 2012

I am soooooo behind, my bad

Oy! I am so behind... 2 days to be exact. I am actually supposed to have today off, but I guess since I didn't have time to do my last 2 posts, I'll do it now. I'm still going to post them separately from each other, and separately from this one. I just wanted to take a second and let you know that I have been working my behind off in preparation of Easter for Awesome Guy's Easter basket. I'll put the pics up later just so you can see how hard I worked. Either way, please don't hate me for not getting these out on time, I promise it was all a matter of priority, and I'd rather make sure my family has as much of me as they want than put my blog challenge deadlines ahead of them.

Peace! oh, and happy Easter!!

Flower

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My. Kid. POOPED. In. The. Park.!!!!!

Oh my goodness!!! Where to begin?! Basically A pooped in the middle of the playground yesterday while we were playing at the park. Although no one was around, I was MORTIFIED. I mean, honestly. I didn't have anything to clean it up with, not even wipeys, and plus it was really soft, like, almost diarrhea. Luckily I was doing my nails while we were at the park, so I had toilet paper with me (I was using it to get the old nail polish off), so I just wiped her, and I always have an extra pair of pants with us, since we are still working on this whole potty training thing. I threw her other stuff in her little princess backpack and went home, as fast as we could. I don't know if this has happened to any of you, but you might as well share it if it has. Please, if only just to make me feel like I'm not the only mom (or dad) that this has happened to? Did I handle this horribly? Also,h I can't wait to show her when she is a teen that I shared this with the whole world, she will be equally as mortified.... I'm evil, and I know it.

Peace,

Flower

E is for... EASTER

So this Easter is going to be a little bit different than all of my past Easters.   Mostly because I won't be spending it with my mom's family. Also, I won't have my daughter until the afternoon. I think we are still doing an eg hunt with Awesome Guy's sister's kids, but other than that I think we are just staying home.

I have been trying to teach A the true meaning of Easter, but I think it is a little hard for her toddler brain to grasp. But either way, I read the story out of her children's Bible and tried to have a conversation with her about it... I walked away STILL feeling like it just wasn't clicking. Oh well, better luck next year, I guess.

One thing I never understood is what bunnies that lay eggs, jelly beans, and baby chickens has to do with Jesus walking out of that tomb. I know it all has something to do with Pagan holidays and stuff, and fertility.... but those things don't even seem like they go together... at all! I dunno...


Awesome Guy celebrates a little differently than I do. While I am celebrating the resurrection of Jesus ... he will be celebrating  Zombie Jesus Day, he's such a nerd.... buuuuut I love all of him, even the nerdy parts! Hoppy Easter, Yall!

Peace, and Jesus!

Flower

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for... Delicious dinners made with the man of your dreams

 My daughter won't eat bread, I'm not sure why, but it is making lunch tough for me because we are broke, and when you're broke... sandwiches are the way to go for lunch. She basically just eats the meat and cheese out of it, as she doesn't like condiments on her sandwiches or burgers, either.
 So when I asked for some help on my Facebook, the response was overwhelming. One of my aunts suggested using other types of whole grains like brown rice, and barley. And a friend said I should just try whole wheat tortillas for quesadillas and roll ups. All of the suggestions have been a complete success!

Well, last night I decided that I was going to make something with brown rice and chicken. I was worried the chicken in my fridge would go bad if I didn't use it soon, so I decided to make stir fry with brown fried rice. This is how it turned out:

It was Delicious! Awesome Guy helped me, and it was just... nice. Nice to be spending time doing something that easily turns into a chore night after night, with someone I love. And nice to have conversation that isn't so pointed. 

I also made something else awesome! Breakfast Pizza, which I will tell you how to make, since it was so easy, and you most likely have most of the ingredients in your fridge, anyway. Since I learned that Bisquick biscuits are generally kind of flat, I decided to make the crust with it, since it is pretty quick to throw together. I just mixed it using the biscuit recipe on the box (2 1/2 cups Bisquick and 2/3 cup of milk) Then I rolled it out and put it on a well oiled pizza pan. I pulled it out to the edges to make sure it fit. It was more than enough dough to cover a normal sized pizza pan. Next, I threw it into a 425 degree oven until it was golden brown on top. 

While it was baking, I fried some bacon (4 slices), reserved the grease, and scrambled some eggs in the pan that still had residual bacon grease in it (I used 2 eggs, but next time, I'll use more since I wished there was more on the pizza!) Then, I put the 2 T of the reserved bacon grease back in the pan, along with 2 T of flour to make the roux for the gravy, which will become your pizza sauce. Now ad about 1 1/2 c of milk and stir it in really well so there aren't any lumps, nobody likes lumpy grave, but if there are a few, it won't matter that much because it's going on your pizza... no need to be a perfectionist!

By now, your crust should be done, if not already cooling. Pour your gravy over the crust and spread it out until it is about 1/2" away from the edge. Now top with scrambled eggs, and crumble your bacon on top. cover with shredded cheese (I used cheddar, but that's what I had on hand, you can use whatever you have) and slide the pizza back into the oven. Bake until all your cheese is melted, since all of your other ingredients are cooked already. This is what mine looked like:

The beauty of this recipe, is that you can use whatever you already have around the house. Sausage would work great, as well as ham! If you make it, be sure to come back and let me know how it turned out!

Peace, Love, and Delicious food!!!
Flower

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for... Lacy is going back to college... eventually...

So I guess the title gives it away, but it's true! I'm going back to college!

 I'm about halfway through my degree, so Awesome Guy decided it would make more sense for me to finish my degree than for him to go back first. I'm pretty excited, just waiting for him to say the word, and less than 3 months later, I'll be back in school. And about a year later, I'll have my very own DEGREE! I think my parents will be proud, I can' think of a better way to make them both happy at the same time! Yay for me!

Peace and Collegiate fun for all!

Flower

Monday, April 2, 2012

... A little help... please?! ANYONE?!

I went down to my grandma's shop after I made those AMAZING muffins. I took her one and she majorly hooked me up! Since she knew I had squeezed the juice by hand, she gave me a juicer. Also, she knew I like to make biscuits, so I got a biscuit cutter, too. I know these things sound not-so-cool... but I assure you, when you don't have them, they seem important. Anyhow, now I will be experimenting with biscuits. I still have blueberries left, so maybe some blueberry biscuits are in order.
Also, I'm having a hard time thinking of things to make for dinner around here that are interesting and fast. This whole living together thing is still new to me and Awesome Guy, so I want to make sure I keep impressing him. Tonight the plan is ham and cheese sliders, but I still have no clue what I'm making for the sides. I need more summer inspired recipes, because my normal pot roast, ham & beans, and potato soup seems awfully heavy for such a light and happy season.

Now it's your turn, what do you think I should make to change it up a bit? What do you make that's interesting? Let me know in the comments below!

Peace,
Flower

B is for... Biscuits, Bloggers, and Bettie!

This post is brought to you by the letter "B".
 Also, the number "0". As in, I have made 0 Biscuits that have looked anything like biscuits since college. It seemed that when I had an instructor over my shoulder, and a grade on the line, I made great biscuits. Now that I'm trying to make them for my family, they always turn into fail biscuits. They are flat every time, even when I cautiously fold in the wet ingredients (since I learned with my fancy half of a culinary degree that flat biscuits are caused by over-production of gluten, which generally means you over worked your dough.) They generally taste fine, but they're ugly as homemade sin. Ugh, it is very frustrating. Do any of you have a fool proof recipe that turns out fluffy biscuits EVERY time? Please, for the love of all that is beautiful, polka dotted, and sparkly in the world.... please leave the recipe in the comments below. Seriously, I'll try about anything. My friends are starting to make fun of the fact that I'm trying so often, but I am determined to turn out some awesome biscuits.

On to Bloggers! Now, I what I am about to show you may shock you, you may fall out of your chair with utter disgust, but this is what a blogger REALLY looks like, or at least what I look like on a semi normal basis...
 I hope none of you got puke on your computer... I'm seriously harmless... usually. But this is how I usually start, and sometimes still look like at dinner time. I still wear my aprons, just over my t shirt and jommie pants.

But this next picture is what I hope you guys think I look like. Because, ideally, this is about how I look in my mind. Cute makeup, pretty dress, nice hair, and pearls. And for the record, the apron didn't come with the dress, they just coordinate soooo well, I had to take this pic!
But seriously, cute dress, huh?


My last "B" subject of the day is Bettie Page!I am pretty crazy about her. I named my daughter after her, (her middle name is Page) and I have TONS of stuff with her on it. Magnets, T shirts, and posters... galore! I don't have her all over my house like I do Audrey Hepburn. I worry that people will get the wrong idea of me, also, it's not always so kid friendly. The shirts are ok, but I don't think my daughter needs to see pin up models every day. Here are my posters and a shot of my fridge with the magnets.

 I know this one is blurry, but just so you get the idea


And this one is kind of dark, but again, you get it.







Anyway, this concludes my B post for my A to Z challenge, come back tomorrow and we will check out what pops outta my brain for the letter C!

A is for... "Aaaaand they're off!" also, avocados... This should be interesting...




Um, I know I'm a little late with this post. For the record, I don't have my laptop right now. I am actually typing this on a phone. Anyway, yesterday started the A to Z challenge. So I'm a little behind, it happens. I'm sure I'm not the only one, so it's all good.



 So now we get to the avocados. It is getting warm out so I'm all for putting guacamole on EVERYTHING! From burgers to grilled chicken, to salad. Also, if you're trying to cut calories, and like avocados, you could try this yummy new recipe for sandwich spread I found. Pretty much, you just mash up about 2 normal sized avocados with about a cup and a half of plain Greek yogurt. I think it's a great way to replace mayo in your diet, especially since avocados will be in season soon.

 Peace,
Flower

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Parenting is HARD... so much to worry about... part one

One of my biggest worries as a parent is about when my little munchkin princess grows up and becomes a teenager. I know there were personally a lot of things I did as a teen that my parents couldn't have done a thing about- well, short of chaining me to the kitchen table. I'm not saying I was a bad kid. I didn't get in much big trouble, just normal stuff... bad grades, talking back, lying... the stuff I imagine most parents deal with. But I did have some parties with my friends, and I experimented with drugs (nothing crazy), drank a little alcohol, and had premarital sex.

My first instinct when I started thinking about all this, was that I should just get over it now, because it's just what people do when they are in their adolescence, and I should just not worry about it until I get there. Then, I had a revolution! Why should I just accept all that as ok? And how is waiting until I can't do anything about it going to help anything. Of course, she is going to make her own decisions, in the end, but I'm pretty sure there are steps I can take to set her up for successful decision making.

I was definitely not gifted with good decision making skills, and sometimes I think my moral compass is set to True South, but I do the best I can. Awesome Guy, on the other hand, has wonderful decision making skills. Once in a while, when I look back, it seems like there's a short in my system somewhere between my reasoning section of my brain, and the emotional section. But either way, I'm blessed to have such a great man in her life to help me guide her in the right direction.

One thing I intend to do is to make sure I have a good relationship with my girl. Right now, we are about the center of each-other's universe, which is where we need to be. My life revolves around taking her to the potty, planning balanced meals, and making sure she has plenty of social interactions. And her life revolves around doing everything like mommy, trying not to take naps, asking for snacks, and begging me to take her to the park. But what happens when I have less control of her world and her priorities? I hope to keep talking, asking questions, and trying to instill that she should always be absolutely comfortable at home and around her family. After all, we are going to love her no matter what. I just want to make sure I always fight for our relationship. I am going to do my best not to lose sight of it.

I have just decided to make this a multi part installment. I'm not sure how many parts it will end up being, but I'll try to pepper in some recipes and other less serious stuff.... If you guys have any suggestions or requests about what you would like to read about, just let me know in my comments below!

Peace and thoughtfulness!!
Flower

I made something DELICIOUS...

Ok, I may have "borrowed" the recipe from a different blogger, who may or may not have borrowed the recipe from another blogger... But I think I may have found a recipe thats a keeper! I mean, one that I'll make for my family time and time again. It is ham and swiss sliders, and it's another stupid easy recipe.

Basically you just go buy a bag of hawaiian rolls, and slice it cross ways, so all the tops and bottoms stay intact. Then, you melt a stick of butter (I KNOW!!! Sounds great already!). While the butter is melting in a pan over medium heat- to buy you some time, and keep the butter from browning- dice up an onion. Saute the onion in the butter and add 3 T of dijon mustard, and 2 T worcesteshire sauce, and most people add poppy seeds, but I didn't have any, so I added parsley.

Now for the assembly! Line a 13 x 9 pan with foil, and put your bottom buns in it. Spread about 3/4 of your onion mixture over your bottom buns, again, they should be one solid piece, so it should be easy, like spreading sauce on a giant slice of bread. Now put about a half pound of sliced ham over the onion mixture. Here's a quick tip- if you chiffonade (slice onto ribbony strips) your ham, it fools your brain into thinking there's more there than there is. To do this, take several slices of your ham and roll them up like a newspaper- a tiny ham newspaper- and run your knife through it, like you're slicing a carrot. Once you've put your ham down, arrange about 8 slices of swiss cheese over top of the ham. Now pour your remaining onion mixture over top of the cheese, and replace the top buns. Cover it all with foil and bake in an oven at 350 for about 20 min. When you get ready to serve, just slice down the lines with a pizza cutter, or just use the edge of a spatula.

There are a few things about this recipe that I super love. The first is that I can make it ahead of time and refrigerate it until I want to use it, so it's great for nights when you have activities for the kiddos scheduled, or other commitments. Also, there is very little clean up, especially if you use paper plates. Your baking dish should be clean, because this isn't an extremely messy entre, so all you should really have to clean is the frying pan you sauted your onions in and maybe some plates and cups after the meal. The last thing I am wild about is the fact that the possibilities are endless! You could do the same thing with reuben ingredients, or regular cheese burgers, or even regular sandwich stuff. I've always thought that toasting a sandwich enough to melt the cheese always made it a little more special.

So here ya go! Enjoy a super fast and easy dinner, and spend more time doing what you REALLY wanna do... read my blog, and tell the world how amazing I am... well, maybe that's what I want to do...

Peace, and cheesy melty goodness!!

Flower

Friday, March 23, 2012

I think I may have just made the most delicious muffins in the world...

Holy cow!!! I May have just made the most spring-inspired muffins EVER. They are probably horrible for me, but I'm not sure if I care. They are amazing. I'm taking both of my grandmas some tomorrow. They're blueberry lemon, and they are magic.
Here is a picture of them just to get you salivating.


And if that didn't do the trick, here is one of the inside. It's kinda blurry, or are you shaking with anticipation?



Anyway, the recipe is easy, like, STUPID easy, as long as you know how to use a microwave, measure, stir, and use an oven you're all set. So you start with... WET THINGS! Melt a stick of butter and stir it into 1 cup of sugar. Grate in the zest of one lemon (or, if you're like me, and don't have a grater- don't ask me why, it seems essential now- then just carefully peel the lemon, leaving the pith... thick white stuff... on the lemon and chop up your peels with a good sharp knife), then stir in 2 eggs until fully incorporated. Next, stir in ½ cup of milk (any type is fine)

Now for the... DRY THINGS! Stir this stuff into your Wet Things: 1½ cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and a ½ teaspoon of salt

And onto the... OPERATIONS THINGS! Do you have paper liners for your muffin tin? Fantastic, cuts down on cleaning. No? Break out the cooking spray, and spray the pan. Fill the muffin cups about ¾ of the way full with batter—this will be enough for 12 muffins. You can also make the recipe as a loaf but I prefer the muffins.

Toss a few frozen blueberries into each muffin cup. I used about 5 for each one, but you can adjust to suit your interests.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes (50-60 minutes for a loaf)—the 22 minute mark is my stopping point for whatever that’s worth. Cool for five minutes and then poke holes on the top of the muffins/loaf. I use a fork, but the person that I got the recipe from used the end of a wooden spoon, whatever ya like.

And here's the BEST part... GLAZE THINGS! Use the juice of one lemon and 1/4 cup of sugar to make a syrup. I just popped it all in the microwave to get it all syrupy and warm. Now pour! Pour like you've never poured before. It doesn't look like much, but I assure you, it's more than enough for all of the muffins.

Now enjoy your magical muffiny creation, I know I will!

Peace and magic deliciousness!!!

Flower

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Engagement Dreams-- Crushed

My anniversary was last weekend. Awesome Guy and I made it a year. *pause for sounds of clapping an noise blowers* I am very glad.... but I would like to rant for just a second. First, I can't tell you the measures I went through praying, hoping, and wishing on wishbones (also eyelashes, and 11:11 wishes) I did that my man would finally get down on one knee and ask me to marry him. My close friends keep asking me what he's waiting on. All I can say is, it ain't for fear of rejection... thats for DANG sure! I can't think of a thing I've ever wanted more, my whole life. He has this horrible habit of trying to get me to infer that whatever holiday it is (Christmas, Valentine's Day...), is THE holiday that he is going to ask. For example, at Christmas, the "silver, round, shiny" thing I got was.... a Slinky. Now don't get me wrong, I really LOVE Slinkys. They really are lots of fun, and bring someone like me endless hours of enjoyment. However, he KNEW what he was insinuating. Valentine's day... my gift that was "made of silver, has diamonds, is jewelry, and can be worn around something," was my beautiful necklace. And this time, our anniversary, it was "shiny, jewelry, can be worn around something, and I have been waiting a long time for it".... This is what I got. . .



Again, don't misunderstand; I love pearls, and have never had real ones. They are gorgeous and are going to look great with almost anything, but that is not an engagement ring! I really wish he would stop leading me on with this stuff. I told a friend that if it weren't for the fact that it would feel like I was stealing something from him, I would just say, "Hey! I love you, and I know you love me. So here's the deal, we are getting married. Meet me here, on this date, at this time. I'll be right behind you, coming down the long aisle. You can't miss me, I'll be the one in the white dress... looking super gorgeous. Now, give me money, and have a great day." Sadly, it can't be that easy. He has to ask my dad, and then apparently my mom (his idea), an THEN me. Then I tell the world, haha.


Also, we didn't do what I wanted to do ( except go to church, the park for a few minutes, and start a game of RISK we didn't finish... because he just HAD to play his game... have I mentioned I can't STAND that game??) I wanted to go to the Carnegie Library because there was an awesome art show going on there... nope. I wanted to go get our couch, so I could feel like I have a living room... nope. I wanted to go to Applebee's for dinner... nope, we got pizza for lunch instead. That last one wouldn't be so bad, except he told me the plan was to go to Applebee's for dinner, and when he asked what I wanted for lunch (i said Arby's) he decided to get what HE wanted. Ugh... men, I doubt they'll ever get it. I guess my left hand will just keep looking like this:

Mass Effect 3 can suck my big toe... I mean it!






I don't like Mass Effect 3. It has stolen my boyfriend. We literally had to have a talk about him managing his time wisely. It all started innocently enough. He invited me to go to the launch with him and his best friend. I was shocked, but mostly I was honored to be invited to something so special to him. I was moving up in the girlfriend ranks. It was an ok time. There were some clingy gamer kids that seemed to really want to stay included in our conversations. No big. We got home, and the first thing he wanted to do was import his old character. I can handle that, it's a shiny new game... yay. We went to bed with his Xbox on that night.

Since that night, he has literally played Mass Effect EVERY gosh darn night except one (last night because he had a date with his momma)!!!!! It is making me an angry girlfriend. You guys know the saying "if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."? Well I assure you, it holds true. Even our anniversary... ! ... I don't know what you think about video games, but in my own personal opinion, they belong nowhere NEAR my anniversary. Especially when they are a regular part of my guy's life.

I try to be understanding because I know how hard he works, seriously... he works like, 60 hour weeks- every week... but I don't think I'm overreacting when I say that Mass Effect has stolen a big chunk of the man I love, and I know I want to spend the rest of my life with him, but I am not sure if I want to spend the rest of my life competing with an Xbox (or any other console- I'm not prejudice solely against Xboxes) for the attention of my guy.

Rant complete, peace!

Flower