Six weeks ago, due to health issues, my husband and I began an elimination diet to see if we have any food sensitivities, and to give our bodies a rest and a chance to heal. It’s a very limited diet. The things we have to eliminate are many of the foods we eat on a daily basis. Eggs, dairy products, wheat (and several other grains), sugar, honey, oranges, peanuts, soy…….. I can’t say it hasn’t been stressful! Missing the foods hasn’t been the issue. Sure, we’ve had our cravings, but the longer it lasts, the more stressed out I am about reading every label, scrutinizing every recipe, trying to keep variety in our meals. I’m ready for it to be over.
Something you don’t really think about beforehand when starting a diet like this is how it will affect your social life. We have eaten out only once in the past 6 weeks! (and boy was that stressful, finding something “wrong” with everything on the menu) We skipped a church luncheon, we went to a friend’s anniversary party and watched everyone enjoy cake and punch, our family felt obligated to cook foods we could eat for our Mother’s Day gathering, etc. We just don’t go out much because every meal or snack has to be home cooked, mostly with fresh ingredients.
The least stressful outing was the Memorial Day cookout. Some friends invited us to join them at a park where they would be grilling burgers and hotdogs. Of course, we can’t have either, so we had to bring all our own food. So here is what was on our lunch menu….
- Butterfly cut chicken breasts.
- Brush both sides with Drew’s Roasted Garlic & Peppercorn Dressing.
- Grill about 6 minutes on each side.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- (After scouring the health food stores for a salad dressing I could eat, I finally found one. It’s very good, both on salad and meat!)
Garlic & Rosemary Pasta
- Cook a 16oz package of spiral pasta according to package directions.
- Saute 1/2 cup finely chopped onions and 6 cloves chopped garlic in about 1/4 cup olive oil, until garlic becomes crispy.
- Add 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary to onions and garlic, cook about 2 more minutes.
- Stir olive oil mixture into drained pasta until coated. Salt and pepper to taste.
- (I made this ahead of time. It still tastes good cold.)
At home, I use this recipe for cooking broccoli. (omitting the parmesan while we’re on the diet) I’ve never cooked veggies on a grill before, so this was an experiment. I chopped it and tossed it at home, then grilled it in a foil-lined grilling basket. It didn’t turn out too well and we ended up throwing most of it away. It probably would’ve been preferable to do asparagus or something like that, but I had broccoli on hand. I’m sure with a little tweaking we could make it work. I may try it again some day here at home.
And for dessert…..
- Core 1 golden delicious apple and cut into 1 inch chunks. Place in a glass bowl.
- Add 1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil, 1 tsp shredded coconut, 1 tsp cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg. Toss until coated.
- Place plastic wrap over the bowl, leaving a small vent for steam. Microwave for 2 minutes. Stir and serve.
- I usually do 4 or 6 apples at a time in a large bowl, cooking them for about 2 minutes per apple and stirring every 2 minutes.
- (I made these just before leaving the house, so they were still warm when we ate them.)
Here is my latest craft project. There really wasn’t much to it, but I just love how it looks!One of the curious items my husband and I found in our attic was a Denver Mint money bag from 1978. This bag has some significance though, a little piece of family history.
………………………………………..the story behind it………………………………………..Many years ago, my husband’s father was in the traveling carnival business. In fact, that’s how he met my husband’s mother. In each town, he would go into the local coffee shops to recruit girls to work in his carnival booth. He hired her to work with him for a few days, but when it was time to move on, she decided to go with him. They married in 1973. They were still in the carnival business when my husband was born, but they soon settled down and built a house (the one we live in now). The money bag was left over from his carnival days. I wanted to keep the bag as a special memento for my husband, so I decided to make a pillow out of it. Its tea-stained coloring matches perfectly with our living room decor. I like that it’s not in perfect condition. It even has circle shaped stains on the bottom where it sat full of coins!
The one problem was that it had been written on with blue ink. It was just kind of unsightly. I tried a couple of gentle stain removers, but saw only slight results. Bleach wasn’t an option because I really did not want to alter the natural aged discoloration, and I certainly didn’t want a bleached white spot! So I pulled out my handy-dandy nail polish remover. (Yes, nail polish remover works pretty good on ink stains.) I was afraid at first that it would be too harsh, but it wasn’t. The coloring of the canvas was almost unaltered! And believe me when I say I soaked and scrubbed at that ink. It’s almost completely gone now and hardly noticeable. Like I said, not much to it. Besides the stain removing, it was just a matter of stuffing it and sewing the end shut. But I’m so happy with how it turned out! I enjoy the uniqueness of it and I like the story that goes with it.
I want to make a confession. I am a grammar nazi. Ok maybe not quite that extreme. I only pick on people who think they’re right. For example, I used to know a man who was extremely particular about his grammar when writing or speaking publicly. He was very proud of himself for his correctness, it gave him an air of superiority. It secretly gave me great pleasure every time I heard him say “irregardless” or use the wrong form of who/whom.
I’m not the type of grammar geek who goes around speaking perfect English and correcting everyone who doesn’t. I had a couple of friends like that in high school and it irritated me to no end. If you want to use the style of speaking that you grew up with, I’m ok with that. I do that. I live in the south, I know we have a reputation of having bad grammar and incorrect pronunciation. That’s fine. It’s our way of life. And you have that right too. I won’t correct your conversational grammar. But when it comes to giving a speech or writing a business letter, you better get it right. Using your lingo in any writing you do for a business is completely unprofessional. Intelligent people will find it hard to take you seriously if your writing and speaking are full of mispronounced/misspelled words or bad grammar. If you just can’t get it, hire an editor.
Conversational grammar is also fine for facebook, twitter, blogs, and so on (unless they’re business related). Even so, please (PLEASE!) spell the words right! Is that too much to ask?
But what really gets to me is these grammar snobs who don’t really know grammar and try too hard to sound like they do. For example, they know the commonly used phrase “me and you” is wrong, that it should be “you and I”. However, they don’t know all the rules and believe that it’s always correct to say “[other person] and I” so they end up saying things like “This is John and I’s house.” Another example is using lie and lay. They know it’s common to use lay when it should be lie, so they always use lie even when it’s very wrong. “John lied on the bed.” This, in my opinion, makes them sound more stupid than saying it wrong in typical conversational style. They have that condescending know-it-all mentality but not much to show for it. I love to correct these people. They’re just begging for it.
- I still occasionally refer back to my college grammar handbook when I’m uncertain.
- When I’m listening to a speaker, I have an unintentional habit of mentally noting mistakes they made.
- I searched Pinterest for pictures to add to this post and spent an hour laughing at all the grammar jokes.
Our wedding anniversary is coming up in just a few days. It has been two glorious years! Every girl has, whether in her mind or on paper, a list of what she wants in a guy. I can’t say that my husband has all the things that were on my list, but he has a few that weren’t. In the trailer for the movie Hitch, there’s a line that goes something like this: “You are everything I never knew I always wanted.” That’s one of my favorite lines to say to my husband. God knows me better than I do and made him perfect for me by giving him characteristics that I needed but wasn’t looking for. So, in honor of our anniversary, here are 4 things that I never knew I needed in a guy until I had him.
- He loves books and reading ~ I didn’t know I needed someone who completely understands my fascination with books, a husband who not only is ok with but actually shares my passionate dream of one day owning a house with a library. It’s so amazing that someone besides my sister doesn’t think I’ve lost it because I’ve lost myself in a book. I knew I’d married a treasure when he told me it felt sacrilegious to sell some books we didn’t like. (The only thing that convinced him was that it would make room for more.)
- He enjoys plays and orchestra concerts ~ I’ve loved that sort of thing for years, and I hoped to marry someone who wouldn’t mind occasionally attending with me, but I never imagined the man I would marry would enjoy it. I mean, what are the odds of a camping, hunting, fishing, gun-loving, man’s man also enjoying the arts? But he does!
- His love language is the same as mine ~ (First, let me say that if you haven’t read The 5 Love Languages, read it.) I wanted a man who wasn’t ashamed to show affection, but I never knew how much it would mean to me that he needed it as much as I did! Both of us “speak” the primary language of physical touch. For both of us, that language is significantly dominant, scoring far above the others. Yes, we are that couple that you can’t see light between, the huggy kissy snuggly couple that grosses everybody out. But to have someone show me love in the best way he knows how and it be exactly what I need is indescribable.
- He has a very relaxed personality ~ This is probably the biggest one that I’m the most thankful for. I never knew I needed a husband like this until we were dating and interacting as a couple. He reacted so calmly to my mistakes and my failures. All the guys in my family are dominaters with strong personalities and control issues. I was used to that. That was normal to me. But I’ve always had a relatively quiet and sensitive personality. To have my man react in his calm relaxed way was huge! It has made me feel absolutely amazing! It encourages me to keep trying and not give up, and that even when I mess up he’s ok with that. For this I am eternally grateful!
Today, I want to share a post from one of my favorite blogs – Organizing Made Fun. Someone once asked me how organizing can be fun. I guess it’s just who I am, but I absolutely love to organize. The kitchen area at our church is currently being remodeled. When it was announced, my first thought was, “Ooh! Ooh! Can I be the one to organize the new cabinets and storage areas? Pick me! Pick me!!” I actually got excited at the prospect. Is that weird? My mind simply cannot comprehend disorganized people. It hurts my brain.
Anyway, Becky just shared a list of right and wrong ways to organize. I thought it was a great list, so I’m going to share a condensed version of it. To see her full post, click the link a the end.
- try to organize everything like you see on Pinterest
- expect it to be easy. The longer you’ve neglected it, the harder it will be.
- give up after 5 minutes (or in my case, 5 days!)
- feel bad about asking for help
- overdo it by not giving yourself enough time
- put things in places that don’t make sense
- forget to put things back in their permanent spot
- expect everyone in your house to automatically know your organizing system
And I’d like to add one of my own: Don’t make it difficult! A simple system is best. Especially if you or your family members are not natural organizers, it can be overwhelming to keep it organized.
- use Pinterest for inspiration
- have realistic expectations for cleaning out a space
- consider what you can do without, you don’t have to keep everything
- know when to ask for help, from a friend or even a professional
- focus on one task at a time
- put things in logical places and use labels when necessary
- make it a habit to put things back in their proper places
- teach your children to make it a habit as well, but you must lead by example
- be flexible, do what works for you. Realize that there is not only one right way. Try several different things, if you wish, to see which works best.
OMF Organizing Tips
I got tired of having to deal with this: A makeup pouch that was too small and impossible to close.
So I made this:
I thought about buying one. There are some really cute ones on Etsy. But it looked so simple, I decided I could do it myself. And this way, I could customize the number of pockets and their sizes to fit my stuff. I created this entirely from leftover materials, so the only thing it cost me was time! You may remember the Roman blind I made for the kitchen (here). The striped fabric and the lining were both extra from that. The ribbon was formerly wedding decor (I knew I kept all that for some reason). And of course, the thread I had on hand. Now I have this roll standing next to my sink like a beautifully wrapped gift.
Here’s the link to a tutorial that I used for inspiration.