I Gave Up Coffee, Found Myself a Fashion Expert, and Am About to Get Rich Quick

— 1 —

I haven’t drunk coffee in almost a week.  I think it’s the longest I’ve gone without coffee my entire adult life.  My beverage of choice is now black tea  (Tazo Awake or Tazo Focus).  It’s definitely a minor miracle, attributable mainly to finally catching up on the sleep I lost in the first year of Girl 2’s life.  I wasn’t liking the taste of the Starbucks I was brewing at home and gave tea a try one morning.  Then I decided not to buy more coffee when I ran out.  So weird.

— 2 —

My stats are down on the blog, which I think is due to the dearth of fashion posts lately.  People want to read what I have to say on fashion more than, say, Montessori for special needs, or consequential ethics.  It’s a strange strange world we live in, and you just never know what’s going to happen to you in life.  That’s all I have to say about that.

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Just in case you do want to read what I have to say about consequential ethics (and my two favorite television shows), you can read it over at Mary’s blog.  You know, just in case.

— 4 —

My eBay hobby continues to chug along.  I’ve moved into the vintage coffee mug and used toy market.  I’m gonna be rich, I tell you.  Filthy, stinkin’ rich.

— 5 —

Have you seen that trick on Pinterest where you re-use an Airwick Plug-In thingy and fill it with essential oil?  I tried it with lemongrass oil, and my house smelled awesome.  It didn’t work so well when I tried to re-fill it a second time.  The wick only lasts so long.

— 6 —

What I’m doing now is sprinkling some cinnamon oil on a unscented little white votive candle and burning that.  It smells great, but doesn’t last as long.

— 7 —

My Thanksgiving was great, thanks for asking!  😉  How was yours?

"Freedom From Want" Modern Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

Pat was the Ghost of Thanksgiving Past

Quickest quick takes ever, for me!  Woo hoo! Happy weekend.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

 

Five Favorites For Which I Am Thankful

In the spirit of tomorrow’s holiday, here are some things I’m especially thankful for right now, in no particular order:

1. Good health!  We’re several months into the school year, and the girls have not yet had a serious illness.  This is a HUGE improvement over last year.  I’ve been giving them daily Vitamin C and probiotic supplements.  (I’ve tried colostrum powder, but the girls are princess-and-the-pea like and can detect it in their milk.  Also I’d like to try cod liver oil, but I’m not optimistic about how that will play out.)  Maybe the supplements have something to do with it, maybe we’ve just built up immunity.  Who knows?  But I am very thankful.

2. Girl 1’s imagination: it has taken off during the past six months.  She entertains herself for hours at a time, which is a complete change from the previous four years of her life, during which time pestering me was her primary occupation.  Plus, Girl 2 generally wants to tag along and do whatever her big sister does.  So, BOTH girls can be occupied for long stretches of time with only occasional refereeing needed by me.  Thank you thank you thank you God!

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3. Pat’s new job: He’s been at his current job for about six months now, and it allows him to work from home.  We both love the situation, and he really enjoys his work.  What a blessing.  

4. My family: my in-laws, who live in town, and who are so so good to us, and my parents, who live far far away but who visit frequently.  We’ll be enjoying their company as you read this.

freedom_from_want-large

5. Speaking of your reading this: you, yes you, reading this!  Thank you for reading my blog!  I really appreciate it.  I started this on a whim, thinking it would be satisfying to share my thoughts with the world.  And it has been!  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bonus #6: Hallie at Moxie Wife and her weekly Five Favorites link up.  Thanks for keeping us looking on the bright side of life every week, Hallie!  (**Update: just realized there’s no linkup this week, but I’m still thankful for all the weeks when there is!)

A Perfect Health/ Primal-ish Thanksgiving

I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, for the first time.  My parents and grandparents and my brothers are coming up for the holiday, and I’m so excited!  And a little nervous about the dinner.  But mostly excited, because I do enjoy cooking for people.

Ordinarily I might skip our diet for once, but my Mom is sensitive to gluten, corn, and oats.  So, I’ll be doing this Perfect Health Diet/   primal style.

Here’s what I’m planning to make:

  • Roast turkey (duh); I’m going to try to brine it ahead of time.  (It’s my first time roasting a turkey.  Why not make something as complicated as possible the first time you do it, I always say.)  A friend suggested brining it in a styrofoam cooler, outside overnight.  That way it doesn’t take up space in the fridge.  I plan to do that so long as the weather is cold.
  • Make-ahead gravy along these lines, using rice flour and homemade chicken bone broth.
  • Make-ahead freezer mashed potatoes.  Most of the time potatoes don’t do well after being frozen.  But I tried this recipe already, and it really works!
  • Wild rice “stuffing.” I made it for Thanksgiving dinner last year with the following modifications
    • I added about a cup of toasted chopped pecans.  I think the crunchy pecans contrasted nicely with the chewy rice.
    • I used Lundberg Wild Blend Rice in place of wild rice.
    • I used jasmine rice is place of basmati.
    • I skipped the parsley.
    • I used a cup of frozen pre-chopped onion and green pepper in place of the fresh onion.
  • Homemade cranberry orange relish  (I’m going to make this ahead of time and might substitute rice syrup for honey.)
  • Green beans with mushrooms and bacon (or another simple veggie dish; Pat doesn’t like green bean casserole, and it’s better to skip the canned soup anyway).
  • Rolls: regular store-bought rolls for those who aren’t sensitive to wheat, plus a gluten and corn-free alternative if I can find one.
  • Pickle and olive tray
  • Gluten-free pumpkin pie (I’m still pondering whether to use this healthy, sugar-free recipe for the filling, or just pull out the old White Crystals O’ Death).
  • Sweet iced tea . . . because we’re Southern and it’s our life blood.  Maybe I’ll sweeten it with Stevia

No sweet potatoes!  I know!  But Pat doesn’t like them, and I like them best with brown sugar and marshmallow so . . . I’m breaking with tradition and skipping them entirely.

My game plan:

This week:

  • Buy all ingredients
  • Make and freeze potatoes
  • Make relish

Monday and Tuesday next week:

  • Make pie
  • Make gravy
  • Defrost turkey
  • Make rice stuffing

Day before:

  • Brine turkey
  • Defrost potatoes

Day of:

  • Roast turkey
  • Reheat potatoes, rice stuffing, gravy
  • Cook green beans
  • Warm rolls and pie

Also, I’m looking for ideas for a simple centerpiece.  Simple, because I’m not crafty, and because I don’t want it to clash too much with my busy blue and white china.

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

 

What I Wore for Thanksgiving

I was tempted by Grace Patton’s What I Wore to Thanksgiving link-up but not really planning to join.  (Three posts in a week about my clothes??)  But I put an outfit together this morning that I was pretty happy with, and I felt all cute and Sarah Vickers-ish.

Sweater: Vintage (from my late grandmother’s closet, complete with moth holes)
Shirt: Old Navy
Jeans: LOFT
Boots that I love so much they have their own post here

Then I checked my blog reader as my rice was cooking, and realized I was actually emulating Julia Patton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I just had to share.  This is what I actually wore when I sat down at the dinner table.  By that point, the baby had vomited her dinner onto my prior outfit.  Guess that’s the price I pay for vanity.

T-shirt: stolen from my sister-in-law

Some might ask, “What kind of mother spends time on Thanksgiving having her picture taken when there is food to make?”  Relax, it’s not like my kids were reduced to gnawing on my boots or anything.

Oops.

Menu Plan Monday, Chocolate Banana Mortal Sin Edition

I’m linking up with Org Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

We’re now on our sixth week of following the Perfect Health Diet (PHD).  Pat is down about 10 pounds now, and that’s a lot of weight!  Hooray for him!

He’s lost this much weight!

. . . .

Okay, nothing more on that topic folks, moving on.

Last week I mentioned that bananas truly are the world’s perfect food.  Not only are they an essential part of  two-ingredient, paleo pancakes, they also are essential to today’s feature recipe:

CHOCOLATE BANANA MORTAL SIN “ICE CREAM”

So, back story on the name: before PHD, Pat’s and my preferred route of relaxing on the weekend was to split a pint of chocolate double-fudge brownie ice cream, or one of Ben & Jerry’s many variations on this theme.  Very bad for us, we knew, so Pat dubbed it “chocolate mortal sin.”

After I found this banana “ice cream” recipe on Pinterest, I really felt it was a sign from God that I could go ahead with the Perfect Health Diet.  I seriously didn’t know how I would do without ice cream.  (As it turns out, the PHD book gives a recipe for homemade ice cream made with lots of cream and egg yolks and chocolate but with minimal sugar.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ll post on it when I do.)

So here is our version of banana “ice cream”:

Take 2-3 well-frozen bananas broken into chunks and put them into a food processor.

Add about a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and a square of dark chocolate (unsweetened or barely sweetened).

Then blend, baby, blend.  It’s going to take a while.

You’ll have to break up the chunks a few times.

Now here’s where I go back and forth: you can add a splash of heavy cream at this stage, to help the blending process and make it a bit creamier.  I’ve tried it with and without the cream a few times now, and I think it’s slightly better without.  It makes the bananas melt a more quickly and, paradoxically, makes the end result more banana-y and less ice creamy.

So anyway, keep blending away for at least five minutes, and your end result will look like this (note the yummy little bits of chocolate):

and this:

You’re not gonna like this recipe if you absolutely hate bananas, but if they stay very cold and as frozen as possible (but still blended smooth) the end result tastes a lot less like bananas than you might think.Highly recommended.

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This week’s menu will be something along these lines:

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Steak and rice

Wednesday: Baked chicken (either rotisserie style or with vegetables à la Jen)

Thursday: Thanksgiving!  Dinner with Pat’s family.  I’ll bring rice “stuffing,” (hope it’s good; haven’t made it before) paleo apple crisp, and broccoli with cheese.

Friday: Probably leftovers

Saturday: Salmon chowder (recipe in the works, stay tuned)

Sunday:  TBD

Have a delicious week and a happy Thanksgiving!