Thursday, May 27, 2010

swimsuits, shopping, in-laws.

Not much to say here,

but I am entering this swimsuit give away 
(Thanks for the link-up, Kristen! check out her blog and Etsy shop!) 

I'm a sucker for a good swimsuit, and - wait...

I'm a sucker for good style. 

When my birthday came around last year, 
my father-in-law told me he and my mom-in-law were
going to take me shopping.  $100 on whatever I wanted.  

This was HUGE for me, 
because it had been a good year and a half 
(aside from a few cheap Target tops) 
since I had gotten anything new for myself. 

Plus, if anyone has ever read For Men Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn, you know how most women feel about how they look.  

So when the big day came, I wanted to buy things that were fashionable, feminine, and ... frugal.  I needed to replace a lot of my old clothes, and I've been t-shirts and jeans for a long, long time. 
I want to know show my (hopefully some day if God decides to say "sure, you betcha") future daughter how to dress modestly, comfortably, and femininely.  T-Shirts and jeans are great, but they are also super easy (I'm wearing them now!) and I'd like to figure out how to better put a more feminine outfit together.

There were a lot of pretty things at the mall, but even a generous $100 gift only goes so far these days.  I once, for fun, selected everything I would like to get from J.Crew online into a shopping basket, just to see how much it was.  Let's just say I didn't make that much in about four months last year.  

Anyways, with the help of my father-in-law's [completely unbeknownst to me] astute fashion sense and plenty (and I mean PLENTY) of patience from my husband and his parents during my 4-hour excavation through Jordan Creek Town Centre for good fashions at frugal prices.  

It was a successful trip, and I had a lot of fun and lots of respect for my husband and his parent's for continually reminding me that yes, it was ok to look in this store, then the next, and yes, that next one, too.  "Take your time, Laura," they'd say.
They're pretty great. 

But yeah, I want one of those swimsuits, so I'm linking up. 

I guess I did have something to say!  

Friday, May 21, 2010

recipe time!

Well, I just feel like writing, but I don't feel like doing paperwork, so this is my next best and/or actually better option.  Not really better regarding my wallet, but paperwork can wait until tonight I suppose. 

A while back I posted a picture - the one on the right - of a meal I made for John and I.  It's super-dee-duper easy, and it tastes really good.  Here's the run down, as I remember it, and keep in mind that this "recipe" happened Rachel Ray style: no real measurements.  

Half-a-box of thick pasta, not stringy like spaghetti or fettuccine.  That's rotini in the picture. 
Olive oil
About 6 or 7 leaves of basil
Probably 10 or 12 grape tomatoes
4 or 5 green onions
4 pieces of bacon
A good hand-full and a half of shredded Parmesan

Get a pot and fill it about 2/3 of the way up with hot* water. Turn up the heat and let that water sizzle!

Salt the water and drizzle some olive oil or canola oil or whatever you like (but probably not peanut, corn, or any other oil with a distinct taste) right on the top of the water.   I don't think I invented this trick, but in case you haven't seen it, the oil keeps the water from boiling over the pot. 
While it might look like this, don't worry - it doesn't bite. 

In the meantime, slice the tomatoes how you'd like.  If it's important to you to get tomatoes in every bite, cut them smaller.  If know what to do.  Set them aside.

Stack the basil leaves in a pile, roll them up into a little cigar shape, slice them down the middle (length-wise), then slice them width-wise into little pieces.  Set aside.

Grab the onions, slice them into little pieces about a half inch or so long, then set them aside, too. 

Once that water is boiling, pop the pasta in and let it roll. 

Heat up a fry pan on medium heat.  Take your bacon and chop it up.  I don't have a sound-proof way to do this, but you could take a kitchen scissors and start cutting.  That's pretty simple.  

Put the bacon into the hot pan and let it cook.  Once it's done, take it out of the pan and put it on some paper towels to drain.  

When the pasta is done (al dente/sticks to a wall...maybe/soft but not mushy), drain it, set the pot on a cool surface, and put the pasta back in. 

Put all the ingredients you sliced along with the Parmesan into the pot.  

Mix it up, 
serve it up, 
be happy.  

Let me know if you try this, and especially if you use anything different!  
I'm always wondering what else to make for dinner. 

*Has anyone else heard that cold water boils faster than hot?  I know I heard that from a reputable source in the past, but apparently that's not true. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

hello, creative blockage, and a lil' dis- and that (v. 5)

It's been a while again
and this will be short,

but I just wanted to say
to the blogosphere and friends 
and let you all know that I'm not giving up on this thing.

Why do I feel compelled to write that? 
Well, it may be more so for me because,
I've started three or four blogs before and haven't gone past the 3rd post on any of them. 

Anyone who knows me knows I'm an English teacher 
                 (although not working as one at the moment)
and a writer, too
                 (let it be known that not all English teachers are proficient writers),
so writing these things can take some time for me
because I don't take them lightly...
                                               ....maybe that's my problem...

anyways, I'll end this about now with a lil' 
dis- and that, 
just because I feel like it!  
Sorry if you don't find this too inspiring.  
I promise (although I honesty can't) that my next blog will be ah-MAY-zing.  
or just amazingly delicious looking... :)  

dis- and that, v. 5

I dislike when I get caught in terenchal rain not once but three times within one day.
I do like that I didn't have to go to my garden to water the plants 
                                                              (a.k.a. sprawling grass) that are growing!

I dislike the cool-down that Iowa had this week.
I do like that I didn't get frozen like my MN fam and friends!

I dislike cleaning,
but I do LIKE when my apartment is all spic and span!

I dislike not having a vacation planned for this summer/fall,
but I do like dreaming with my husband about what we may *hopefully* soon get to do!

I do like that my husband is home from all his work trips for a while,
and I do LOVE that God gave him to me!  :)

and that's about that.  
write to ya lata!

Monday, May 3, 2010

i think he'll make a good dad...

hi all.
it's been a while, i know.
and while I'm pretty sure not a lot of people have actually noticed,
i still care if you have, and will continue to blog. 

so, back to the title of this post.
our community garden plot is located next to an apartment complex
that houses several immigrants 
(most of them refugees, it seems) 
and their kiddos.  

these kids are often playing over at the playground near our garden 
              - located on at a nearby elementary school -
and their parents' and complex neighbors have about half of the plots. 

so when someone other than their parents and neighbors show up,
particularly a guy who's 6'4" and a lady who's 5'10",
they get interested.

tonight, six girls, all about age 8 or so,
asked if they could help.  i told them we were almost done and didn't
really need much more help.  thanks, though!
but instead of staying at the playground, 
they came over 
                       - via skipping and cartwheels and somersaults - 
and talked to us anyway.

no, they didn't just talk to us...
they followed us like little shadows, doing
just about everything we were trying to do. 

they helped John tear apart some pant containers
to put some tomatoes in the ground.
they ran their fingers through the piles of
chives John's co-worker gave to us (mostly as a bug repellent). 
they helped me pull up weeds and grass that were about to 
smother our snow peas.  man, they were great at that!

i talked to them a bunch, but soon there were only two of the six
girls helping me pull grass.  
eventually one of them said to me,
"i'm going to go over by your husband."

they were shifting back and forth from John and i anyways, but
when I looked up, 
you see:

my husband's going to make a good dad. 

probably a great one. 

p.s. no, that's not our garden in the front there.  someone got fancy.  
i wish i knew all their assembly tricks! 
however, unfortunately for them, 
they planted jalapenos next to green bell peppers. 
those are going to be some spicy bells!  
maybe they want them that way.