Thursday, September 30, 2010

A show to laugh at & some pup pics.

Okay, not much noteworthy topics to blog about today. Yesterday was a blur of helping Eugene grade papers, taking the pup to exercise, cooking dinner {oh wait, never mind, we had cereal}, doing laundry…you get the point, lots ‘o fun.

BUT, there is one big ray of sunshine on my Wednesdays now that the new TV seasons have started again. Modern Family, oh how I’ve missed you.

I’m not a laugh-out-loud kind of girl. I never laugh at movies, one-liners, jokes – nothing. {Dull, I know.} But for some reason, this show is hilarious to me. So much so, that I actually lol.

Need to laugh? Just pick one!

And because I don’t have anything more exciting to post, here’s some pics of the pup. He loves to lay all stretched out like this {cracks me up!}


Playing with a water bottle.



Sorry for the lameness of life this week; too much work, not enough play! Tomorrow I’ll try to make a more exciting post {maybe.}


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Comfort soup and splurges.

Another chilly, rainy Fall day yesterday – perfect for a bowl of soup for dinner. We had Turkey Rice Soup in the slow cooker, which worked out well since Eugene got home late because of his basketball practice. {Btw, praise: his practices have gone really well so far! Oh, minus the fact that his best player quit.}

So this probably shouldn’t count as a recipe because I just threw it in the crock pot and hoped it would turn out, but since it did, I figure I might as well jot it down for later.


Turkey Rice Soup

Cooked turkey meat {I used a frozen batch that I saved after my dad cooked a turkey dinner}
1 can of green beans, drained
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 handfuls of brown rice {Handfuls - I love that my recipes are so precise! Ha!}
1 can of chicken broth
salt & pepper & Italian seasoning

You got it – just throw it all in the Crock Pot & turn on low. Like I said, my turkey was frozen, so mine cooked cooked for seven hours. Add some saltine crackers & warm up with the soup on a cold day.

I stopped at Target yesterday & found some deals that I actually took advantage of {just because that morning my sister told me I needed to splurge every now ant then! ;) For some reason, she has this unique gift of getting my cheap frugal self to spend my dough.}

So first, since I’m slightly tired of listening to Eugene complain about not having enough light to read our devotionals every night, when I saw these lamps & had to stop at the aisle end cap.


And {I reasoned} that at the price of 14 bucks, it’s a pretty decent deal for lamps that are so pretty. :)


Now I just need to find a great deal on two big drum shades. I’m thinking something like this…


I also found these heavy-duty, brushed gold chargers.


Guess what, marked down from $9.99 to only $2.48, so I snagged three of them and started concocting plans to create some wall art using the chargers. {Stay tuned, I’ll post it when I figure out my plan of attack!}


Since I’m in no way a risk taker, I’m still holding on to the receipt and fighting my frugal personality’s buyer’s remorse. {Stupid, I know.} So whatchya think…keepers?


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Light a candle and settle in from the rain.

Yesterday we got a much-needed full day of steady rain. It was the perfect, slow and constant shower that takes its time to soak deep into the ground. With the dry, brittle grass and hard ground, we were in dire need of some replenishment.
I thought about it all day at work…finally home, I warmed up in sweat pants and a hoodie, lit my pumpkin spice candle, and settled in from the rain.
I also decided to “make” another candle that would be perfect for my Fall season craving…
So simple – just some fresh coffee beans in a glass vase with a gold votive candle nestled inside. The warmth from the candle brings out the rich smell of the coffee nicely. Mmm, perfect for a rainy day.
One down side to the rainy days is the soppy, muddy, wet walks with the pup. Poor thing poofs into a frizz ball after being outside!
We enjoyed some time with our church’s “Cleaver’s” small group.  {And we had to snap a photo in the car of our matchy hats…Eugene’s so pumped about the Red’s season!}
Trying to keep in mind a line from my devotion today…
"Some matters are too complicated for us to figure out. Let God open and close the doors. Believe that He will prepare and provide."
It’s always a challenge for me to stop trying to figure everything out. {Let it go. Better yet, really give it to Him.}


[project linked to:,,,]

Monday, September 27, 2010

QT with S-I-L’s and banana spice bread.

Friday night, the joy of being a coach’s wife began {sense the sarcasm} as Eugene was gone all evening for a basketball fundraiser. It’s alright though because he’s coaching to provide even more for our family, and it’s a good career move for him, plus I got some great QT with Rita & Heidi, my sista-in-laws on Friday night. :)

Eugene’s sisters came over to visit with my lonely self, and we had such a good time visiting, chatting, laughing, trying on homecoming dresses {Heidi, not me!}, even shedding a few heartfelt tears, and followed the honest talks up with some homemade banana spice bread & lots of laughs. I love those girls & I’m so thankful they view me as their sister. {Big wondrous thing.}


So without further ado, here’s the recipe for Banana Spice Bread. It’s the first time I’ve made it & I used two different recipes as a starting point {hints why I have ingredients in the picture below that I decided not to use}. I had five bananas frozen & ready for some bread makin’, but I didn’t want to typical, every-day banana bread…I wanted something more Fall, filled with lot o’ spices. And this recipe delivered perfectly. Mmm, delicious blend of spices and fruit – great for the Fall season. Oh, and I have to give props to Eugene’s youngest sister, Heidi, who was our professional photographer the whole time: “Work it flour!” and “nice job, show that vanilla!” Oh too funny! {PS prepare yourself for lots of picture = long post.}

Banana Spice Bread
{makes two large loaves}

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar {next time I will use less here, it was plenty sweet}
1 cup light brown sugar
6 tablespoons of skim milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 {or so} very ripe bananas
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
cinnamon & sugar to sprinkle on top


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees & instruct your sou chef to start peeling the bananas {thanks Rita!}. Spray your loaf pans so the pretty bread won’t get stuck.


In your mixing bowl, add the vegetable oil, sugar, brown sugar, milk, & vanilla.







IMG_3220{This is the vanilla Eugene’s parents gave us from Mexico. Mmm.}


In a separate mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients – flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, baking soda, & baking powder.


IMG_3242 IMG_3244

All the while, your poor sou chef’s hands are about to fall off because of all the peeling on the frozen bananas. Oh what love is in her eyes! {To shelter you from the complete violent scene, I cropped myself out of the left side of the picture!}


Ok, still with the dry ingredients…


Mix them up well using a fork.


Finally, with a bit of team work from the sistas, the bananas are peeled & mashed.


Add those to your sugar/oil/milk mixture & turn your mixer on medium until it’s well blended.


Slowly mix your dry ingredients into your batter.


Mix on medium until the dry is fully incorporated.


Oh, and just so I remember the joys of baking in my current kitchen…see the HUGE area I have in our condo. Roomy, isn’t it? {Hey, it works for now & hopefully someday we’ll find a house with a nice spacious place for baking…or at least one where you can get in the fridge and oven at the same time!} :)


Once the batter’s blended, pour it in your bread pans.


And smooth the tops with your spatula.


By this point, the pup was totally uninterested in our baking. And of course, our photographer had to capture the moment.


Now for the special touch…sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on the top of the loaves. {If I had any pecans, I would have added them to the top too.}


Pop ‘em in the oven for 50-60 minutes, and prepare to be entertained by your silly sista-in-law. {Wow.}


Once you can insert a toothpick in the center of the loaf & it comes out clean, the bread’s ready!


Let it cool in the pan for about five minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack  & try to refrain from digging in until they’re cool.


See the cinnamon & sugar topping? :)


Yum, Fall spices!


We could only stare at it so long…delish!


Oh, to finish the weekend recap quickly, Saturday we looked at a big fixer-upper house & had lunch with my parents, then I worked a sweet 16 party where the cake was from this guy…


He’s  The Cake Boss, and this was the cake:


And on Sunday, we went to my Aunt Jane’s for a potluck with my dad’s side of the family. These always equal TONS of food.


Man, can this family cook! :)


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