Friday, December 31, 2010

What I didn't do this year

This was a tough year for us. There was a lot that I didn't do.
  • I didn't visit my parents enough, but they were understanding about it (and can any child ever visit their parent enough?).
  • I didn't scrap much, but I hope to do more next year.
  • I didn't lose any weight, but I didn't really gain weight either. I'm considering this two pound difference a temporary increase.
  • I didn't buy a new car, but I hope to next year.
  • I didn't lose it at work, even though we lost three people and will soon lose another.
  • I didn't lose it at home, even with the passing of my FIL and my accident.
  • I didn't buy a smart phone so I still have an incredibly cheap cell phone plan.
  • I didn't sign up for cable, FIOS, or Dish so that's still hundreds of dollars I'm not spending. I'm pretty sure we'll be the last people in the US to sign up for cable.
  • I didn't run up any credit card debt. Despite an increase in expenses and a decrease in income, we still managed to get by.
It wasn't an easy year, yet I am happy with how we dealt with it and how we got through the rough spots. I found strength (and vulnerability) I didn't know I had. I'm thankful for a loving and understanding husband and thoughtful and supportive friends and family. Thank you!

Wishing you a wonderful 2011! I hope that the new year brings permanent jobs, good health, happy families, and lots of love for you.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Marinated olives

I needed to take something to the department potluck and I wanted something easy. I signed up for an appetizer and decided to bring marinated artichoke hearts and marinated olives. The artichoke hearts came from a jar; the hard part of the prep was opening the jar. No, seriously, the lid was on so tight, it took us several tries to open the jar. As for the olives, I searched online and found several recipes, but either didn't have the right ingredients or thought the recipes were too complicated. Either my coworkers really like olives or I came up with a great recipe because I got lots of compliments from the cooks in the group. But really, how can you go wrong with garlic and olive oil? Here's my recipe (sorry, I don't have a photo).

1 can black olives
1 can green olives
Zest and juice from 1/2 of a medium lemon. The zest should be in strips.
2-3 short sprigs of thyme (the sprigs I had were about 4 inches long)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil

Mix all the ingredients together. The olive oil/lemon juice should coat, but will not cover the olives. You may need to add a bit more olive oil.

Marinate overnight.

Serve cold or at room temperature. Add a few more sprigs of thyme for garnish.

Several recipes called for grated zest, but I thought that the peel was more attractive in strips. Also, I wanted the lemon flavor to be more subtle since I wasn't sure how the marinade would turn out.

Feel free to experiment with different herbs, vinegars, and olive oil.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Crafty enabler alert!

Thanks to my friend Holly (there's a link to her blog on the right), I found out some awesome sales via Check it out!

And here a code (SANTA25) for 25% off at your​scrapbookst​ That includes sale items.

We haven't hit the post holiday sales yet. I'm pretty sure by the time we get to the stores, we'll only find XSs and XLs left, neither of which fit us.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The best Christmas present

(Sorry, I don't have a picture, but maybe I'll get one later. Besides, a photo will spoil the surprise.)

We spent Christmas eve at BIL's and had a delicious dinner (I need to get the soup recipe from my SIL). Afterward, we opened presents or rather, we tried to hold back the kids from opening presents until everyone got in the room. Little G got awesome presents from Nana and Papa. A little birdie must have told them about his love of Star Wars Legos since he received both the Wii game and pajamas. After that, he was glued to the Wii for the rest of the night. As for the girls, Nana and Papa gave them strollers for their Bitty Babies and matching PJs. The girls were so cute with their matching jammies and matching Bitty Babies.

But the best present? The one that actually made the girls gasp? I'll take credit for that gift thankyouverymuch! We gave them Hello Kitty and Ni Hao Kai Lan band aids. Yes, band aids. And even funnier was at dinner, Miss C was complaining about an owie and SIL said they were out of band aids. So after opening her present, Miss C had Nana help her put a band aid on the bruise her leg. Later, Miss E bumped her head, but managed to put a band aid on her forehead all by herself, which made it all better. They both proudly showed off their owies the rest of the night.

Friday, December 10, 2010

My new drinking buddies

Several months ago, we were at a local museum and as usual, we ended the visit with a trip to museum store. I liked this coffee mug and when I saw the price, half off, I liked it even more! It was from a previous exhibit so I guess it was out with the old.

As soon as I started using my new mug, I fell in love with it. First of all, it is china, not ceramic, so it is lighter. Plus, since the material is thinner, the mug actually holds more than a ceramic mug that's the same diameter. More tea for me!

I wanted to go back and get some more mugs, but the museum is a little out of the way, plus there weren't any new exhibits we wanted to see. Finally, months later, we went back. But of course, there weren't any more mugs on the clearance shelf. Bummer! But wait! Mr. Fix-it spotted one lone mug on display with other mugs and also found one for himself. I think he's taken the title to heart.
But I don't think there's much of a likeness.

Friday, December 03, 2010


If you're tired of turkey and aren't quite ready for Christmas feasting, here are some links to interesting noodle dishes from some of my favorite food blogs:

I love handmade noodles; this blogger even included a video; I'm going to have to try this some day.

Here's another video on handmade noodles. I also like the shaved noodles.

I always order pad see ew when we go out for Thai food at lunch. Hey, I know it is a funny name, but it is tasty.

This post about sweet potato noodles was interesting, except for the pig intestines part.

La Fuji Mama (love the name) shows us how to make handmade undon noodles. I don't think I'm up to it.

Lest you think I only read Asian food blogs, here's a homey dish I want to try some day.

Hope you enjoyed this little recipe/blog round up.