Jun 30, 2010

house hunters.

daniel & i have been swept up into this grown up world since we've been married. of paying bills & calling about incorrect bills & cooking & cleaning & working & thinking about families & 'when do we go to your folks for holidays & when do we go to mine?', & where are we going to move when our lease is up in two months?…the latter question is the funnest right now.

we have been thinking for sure that we would rent for at least the next year - but just in the past two weeks, or so, after running some numbers - the idea of purchasing a home presented itself (if we found the absolutely perfect one)…so i looked some things up & my realtor dad looked some things up & we went around to all of these quaint little houses (MAJOR gut job kind of places).

house no. 1 was built in 1914 & had all of the original fixtures, which were AWESOME, but when you stepped on the floor wrong it felt like the whole house was shaking. & that made me dizzy. then we realized…it didn't just FEEL like the house was shaking. it genuinely was. after a few hesitant steps up the stairs we hit a wall of 95 degrees + humidity. in about 2 steep stair steps.

okay. goodbye little house!

house no. 2 had the most darling backyard i've ever seen. i can't even explain it. i think a sweet, eccentric old man had lived there at some point. but he had made this cute walking trail that leads you around grapevines & a swing out in the middle of the woods & a large creation of his that was covered in old ball jars. but the actual house…ummm…next.

house no. 3 was the one that i had loved from the moment that we saw it online. & we loved it 1000x more the second we walked it. it felt like home. & was exactly what we'd had in mind & tons & tons more. it had us from the moment we said 'hello cute house'. which i did say the moment we pulled in the driveway. yup. i was sold then. but the bad (& good part) is that she is a sweet old lady house. she is 92 years old. & has a story to tell. she has seen world wars & depressions & has probably had a tv rolled into her living room to watch i love lucy. shes seen kids grow up & leave to houses of their own. its such a beautiful home. we've tried so hard not to become completely attached. we thought we were holding things at an arms length - we thought we would be…disappointed, but ultimately, grateful, if the lord worked things out differently than we wanted. so that is when we took both of our parents there yesterday & the house was being shown already. daniel could practically see little fireworks sparking out of my head. all of the awful red-head stories he's heard are sometimes, sometimes true. they had renovators pulled up & looking things over & were pacing all over the place, so it was clear they just weren't casual lookers either. its funny how you can become so defensive over something that isn't even your own yet. 

my dad was right. you really see a persons character when you're buying (or trying to buy) a house. there are so many letdowns & complications. it pulls at our heartstrings so strangely. yesterday it hurt to even think about being anywhere else. that is so silly sounding. we are pure sentimentalists. to the core. so we've prayed. & we've applied for loans & we've done a bit of inspecting with a bit more later on today. (the situation with this house is really quite irregular, so inspections come first…that never happens. god wants me to grow in patience, because i totally just want them to know we want this house, & to place an offer in on it before anyone else can…)

but i guess all of that to say that we woke up this morning - & i still have to check myself, but we feel better about everything. whatever that everything ends up being. its fun that we can even look at houses now anyways. so…we're in the house hunting stage right now. maybe it will be to rent for a while longer. maybe it will be this house. maybe it will be one that would fit us even better.

maybe we'll go to papua new guinea.

SORRY MOM! i shouldn't just say those things :P i don't think we're planning on that right now.

so…sorry for a long post with no pictures. i just couldn't post a picture of it. it would make me too excited. enjoy this beautiful overcast wednesday!

Jun 25, 2010

thank yous.

quite a few people have been asking me questions about all of this healthy eating daniel & i have found ourselves in.

i love talking about food. ummm…if its not incredibly obvious.
& i am NOT an awesome cook yet. maybe someday. but i guess im saying all of that to saaaay comment if i post on something that sounds weird or you want to know more about! & we'll talk :) its fun for me.

& thank you so much to all of the people who have left me comments on here, & thru facebook & emails that have given me little tips & ideas for food, places to shop, links to look at, etc…i REALLY appreciate it! i've tried commenting back on most of them, but if i missed you i'm sorry! i can never quite decide if i should respond back on here, so other people can see it, or facebook, or whatever else. so it was my indecision that stopped me ;)

& i'll post here…maybe in the next month or so…once i start to get into some kind of routine & let you all know what things are working…& what things aren't & where i'm getting things. etc…

okay thats all. enjoy your friday nights & weekends :)

Jun 23, 2010

big dutch babies.

oh gosh. i am tired & uninspired so far this morning. waking up early is wonderful…from about 10am on. haha. its taken me almost 4 hours each day to fully wake up. some of it has probably been due to our overbooked calendar last week. so many months of not being able to do anything nites & weekends meant that as soon as we had them we planned something for every night. sometimes several things. oh. & i am so tired now. but it was fun :)

so…i'm not quite sure whats going to happen today. so far, tea isn't helping. i may need the help of something more…caffeinated?

all is going well over here. daniel is still plugging away at his new job. & LOVING it. i'm still adjusting to the huge schedule change & figuring out what to do with the 11 hours a day he's gone. umm…blog a lot?

we went to pop in the park with our perries for fathers day (& gbabes too). it was pretty sounding & relaxing & nice to be with family. (did anyone else go, too?) we brought TONS of food. tons & tons. it was great! we gorged ourselves on yummy things. (ummm…i had three brownies & a piece of chocolate cake. so now i no longer feel guilty, because you know. & really…that is why we try to eat super healthy at home. because i just can't help myself when desserts are around…it balances us out. or me. at least.)

this is the only picture we took that evening. daniel really likes clouds.

okay, so moving on. this post is feeling really fragmented, but i finally have more food to post about.

Big Dutch Baby Pancake
(also called a german pancake. but thats just not as much fun.)

we love these. its our favorite saturday morning food. they're just good.

you need:
1/4 cup of butter
4 eggs
1 cup of milk
1 cup of flour (i used half whole wheat & half fluff)

no. 1
preheat your oven to 425. put your butter in a 9x13 pan & place the pan in the oven.

no. 2
crack all four eggs in a blender & blend for about a minute. add milk & pulse again until its all mixed in. then add your flour & mix for another 30 seconds.

no. 3
pull your pan out of the oven  (your butter should be melted by now) & pour batter over top of it. bake about 20 minutes or until your pancake is puffed & a golden color.

it will do weird puffy things in the oven - & that is very good. let it be :)

we also will typically half this recipe & use an 8x8 pan. the above should feed 3-4 people. 3 if you are very very hungry. 

& top with strawberries & bananas & other berries (& syrup). oh. & powdered sugar. like we always do.
or you could also try filling it with eggs, onion & bacon?

enjoy :)

Jun 16, 2010

cha-cha-cha-chia!!!! (plus making yogurt)

okay…this stuff that looks like bird feed. its not. they're chia seeds.
(btw…that link will tell you MORE than you ever wanted to know about chia seeds. basically thought, they contain LOADS of omega-3's & are a huge energy booster. agh. thats not saying enough. just skim the article)
i will be buying these on amazon next month. i need to start with a fresh food budget before i do. but the link is to the bag i'm thiiinking about getting. 2 pounds for now is plenty. oh gosh. what would be do with FIVE pounds of chia seeds! ack. unless someone(s) wanted to divvy some of them up. i have some fun recipes i want to use them in too! (think popsicles & yum summer drinks…)

*updated my recipe. this one is much MUCH better, & easier to make. i tried to hard to avoid powder milk, but what the heck…*

You will need:
3 1/2 cups of milk (whole is ideal. you could maybe get away with 2% though...)
1/4 cup dry or powder milk
2 tablespoons (about) of plain yogurt (for your starter)
1 quart-sized ball jars
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla*
1/4 cup of honey or sugar*
no. 1
Place a pan over medium heat. Combine your milk and dry milk {*add vanilla & honey at this point, too if you want more french vanilla tasting yogurt, daniel likes it better that way, so thats what we've been doing…} 
no. 2
Now go ahead & put your two tablespoons of yogurt in your ball jar. I used plain stonyfield organic yogurt because it has lots of good-for-you probiotics. & if you're going to bother making your own yogurt…i say why not :)
no. 3
Continue to stir your milk every so often until its about at 180 degrees - so its ALMOST boiling. I used my little candy thermometor at first, but now I actually just wait until you can tell its JUST about to boil. It really doesn't spoil your yougurt if a few bubbles appear. Just remove from heat & let cool at that point until its lukewarm.  (letting it cool takes FORever. at least for me. if you place your pan in a larger pan or bowl with ice & cold water, it will cool a thousand times faster.)
no. 4
Pour half of your milk in your container, screw on the lids & give it a good shake. Okay, now take the lids off again & pour in your remaining milk into the jars. Shake well again.
no. 5
Now the yogurt needs to 'incubate'  between 90-110 degrees to get the cultures going. It will take between 6 to 12 hours. If you have a yogurt maker…lucky you. If not, this is what has worked for me…
Preheat your oven to 170 - you should do this anyways to sterilize your jars. whoops. i don't think i said that earlier. sooo…make sure you do that. then turn the oven OFF. & turn your oven light on. Place jars inside. Check after about 6 hours. Mine seems to be taking about that amount of time lately.
no. 6
After all that is done - & your yogurt is lookin goood, put it in your fridge to cool for a few more hours (or overnight).

ALSO: if you really want to try something fun - i've heard you can replace 1-2 cups of milk with coconut milk. I reaaally want to try it soon!

Makes about 3 1/2 cups.
Each batch of yogurt (maybe i'm silly because i like to know this) costs me $.80. Thats with organic heavy cream & milk, too! So its super cheap. Click here for stonyfield yogurt coupons. here for organic valley coupons. Harris Teeter & Lowe's Food has had organic milk on sale the past two weeks for $4 a gallon. We have majorly stocked up. & it doesn't expire for several weeks. I don't know why that is? But its great for me!

Jun 15, 2010

first days + our wedding in the knot!

i sent this lil cutie off to work this morning. (which is now yesterday) no more paint stains on tshirts. just maybe some chic-fil-a sauce every now and then. & LOTS of ironing. oh gracious.

so he is off at his new manly man job. i teared up when he left this morning. (yesterday) & almost again today too. im going to miss not seeing him for lunchbreaks. but this is good change.

so…no work for me yesterday. just house clean up (& a few quickie crafts). i started a new batch of yogurt early in the morning. & some looong overdue scrub scrub scrubbing. & vacuuming. & laundry-ing. etc…our apartment is sparkling clean :) finally.

oh oh oh! soooo…we got our magazine!!! from the Knot North Carolina.
I love it. Our photographer - Lydia was beyond fantastic. We are so glad she was able to take our pictures. She captured our wedding beautifully. This is a really big deal for her, too, & we are glad :)
It was SO strange seeing us in it. & my cake topper too! yay!
It still doesn't seem quite real. We went with my parents last night to books-a-million to buy a copy for my grandparents & we started looking through it…& kept looking. & looking. at one point all five of us were huddled around the wedding magazines flipping through pages trying to find our wedding! We finally realized that they haven't put out the fall/winter edition yet. Ha. I was beginning to think they just sent us a few copies with our page & left it out of the regular print :P
So it may be a bit longer before we can rush any bookstores for copies…aaaaanyways. that was exciting. & the little excerpt they wrote about us was hysterical. It actually was better than i thought from when their editor called me to check facts for it & all. It just made us sound like total cheeseballs. But i guess we kind of are…Theres just no way you can capture each couples unique story in a paragraph. Not truly. 

So yes. Here it is :)

Off to work today. I have more things to gab about later :)
Hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far!

Jun 11, 2010

I finally have some of our pictures from our cruise/bahamas.
it relaxes my bones just thinking about it again :)

i think of "Empire State of Mind" whenever i look at this picture. i think its the palm trees. although…there are no palm trees in new york. try to explain that one…

we read bookies a LOT. daniel actually read his twice. because mine was massively long. & so very good. but heartwrenching. part of the time. oh, but it did end very well :) at the finish of over 600 pages i was pleased. 

from close to - but not QUITE the front of this boat because otherwise i would have been doing -

- this instead of reading. all the time.
p.s. if you type in 'titanic flying' in google about 600 of these pictures pop up. agghhh. it makes me want to watch it again sooooo much!!! but anyways…

we also ate a LOT. this is me after i thought i could eat two separate meals for lunch. i should have stuck with the mongolian bbq. only.

this is us on fancy dinner night. i underpack. so this is fancy. yes.

a massive growth we found in Atlantis. 
Taylor Swift had a concert there the NEXT week. i wanted to gooooo. i was even willing to camp out in front of this massive guppy for a week to see her. well…maybe. ehhh. i'll wait 'til she's in charlotte again.

beauuuutiful atlantis. we walked all over it. i don't know that we were really supposed to - but oh it was lush :)

Jun 9, 2010

nine of june.

oh guys, my yogurt turned out goooood :)
at least, for the very first time ever making it, i was pleased.

i love thick yogurts (chobani greek yogurt is the best thing EVER. you will never go back) though, & this one (or two) just have a normal yogurt consistency. which i had expected, so it wasn't a letdown. they sat in my oven with the light on for about 9 hours to keep them snuggly warm :) as you can see. then we put them in the fridge overnight.

this is what it looked like this morning. you can't really see past the fruit. we added a bit of honey to it, too. since its plain. (i will post the recipe sooooon)

also, i have found exactly what my kitchen needs for life & happiness & for my sanity. it's tricky trying to fit everything into an apartment!

the one thing i DID get at walmart were these pint sized ball jars. oh my word. i bought them mostly so i'd have some smaller jars to put all of my dressings & mayo in - other than our massive jars ( you can see those in there too) but they stack PERFECTLY in our cabinets. i am completely in love. we have tons more cabinet space now. & i can see everything. 

every time i've walked past our kitchen in the past few hours i've just found myself wandering over to our cabinet & taking a peek in. such happiness for $6.50. if anyone else trys this & everything wont fit in a jar - designate a tippy top shelf in your cabinets to be your 'extra' cabinet. i have one up top. so glad you can't see it...
 now to take care of all of the other messes in there. mainly that upper shelf. sheesh.

Jun 8, 2010

eight of june.

today i had my first little meltdown that daniel had to help me through. & he then went grocery shopping with me which made me feel 100x better. *phew*

and NO. it wasn't because i miss white bread so much. (oh. & in case anyone was wondering. i have been eating more bready things than i said we would. but they are all whole wheat, soooo…)

i was having trouble trying to plan meals for this week & felt like i was wasting my morning away on a slow brain. i am too much of an overachiever sometimes…& i had another sad encounter with wal-mart. i try to like it, i really do. i'm just…not a fan. a farmers market close by would be awesome. i'm so scared to drive downtown to trade & tryon. *shudders* its the one way streets that do it for me. MOMMY!!! HELP!

i'm actually thinking of starting to order some of our food online in bulk. some of it. that is almost seeming to be the easiest way. rather than searching grocery stores for items they don't have. just going to take a little while to get into the groove of it all.  i just need to start small, i suppose.

no. 1 on my list
making our own yogurt (first batch is fermenting now!!! agghhhh i can't wait! if it turns out i'll post the recipe i used) & once i get that down...
no. 2
i'm going to order kefir cultures & begin making kefir.
no. 3

once i actually do these things, i'll do a step by step for them. because i WISH i could find that somewhere. pictures pictures pictures. its so much easier for me. especially with things like these.

we also had our very first ripe baby tomato on saturday!!!
our patio is looking like a jungle. i love it.

hope everyone is enjoying whats left of this BEAUTIFUL tuesday. i'm off to the dixons to watch the season finale of 'glee' soon :)
can't wait!

Jun 5, 2010

five of june.

this morning we went out to pick blackberries nearby our home. we ran into my grandpa while we were out. the one that lives in oklahoma (SO WEIRD!!!) apparently he & my grandma just got in town late last night for garrett's graduation today. & he was just driving around. & they have a new suburban which was part of the reason i didn't completely recognize him at first. & then we all talked about blackberries & he showed us the different kinds of grass that were in the field we were all standing in :)

okay. well that was some fun news. here is some MORE good stuff :)
the website of awesome info that also isn't tedious to read. (don't laugh)
i also have NO idea now how i found it. i think i was looking into raw milk, actually…

Keepers of the Home.

don't look at JUST the most recent post & exit the page. you can find info about gardening, making your own yougurt & keifer, links to find local farmers markets, shopping lists, cloth diapers, organizing & just about everything i've needed in the past couple days i've found there. i don't know why i put cloth diapers on my list. i starred that post away for later ;)

one list they had here i found probably the most helpful. while i'm trying to figure out what i really should buy organic & what fruits & veggies are minimally affected by pesticides because of their thicker skin. you should really click on the link. really. but if you aren't, here are just a few examples.

So, products we'll be buying organic would be:
Peaches, Apples, Bell Peppers, Celery, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Kale, Leafy Greens, Grapes, Carrots, Pears, Potatoes

while some other fruits & veggies may be pretty okay.
Like Onions, Avocados, Sweet Corn, Pineapple, Broccoli, Mango, Asparagus, Sweet Peas, Kiwi, Tomato, Cabbage, Eggplant, Papaya, Watermelon and Sweet Potatoes.
By following both of those lists for organic/non-organic products, you can reduce you intake of pesticides by 80%.

Jun 4, 2010

four of june.

this was lunch today. in honor of our nine month anniversary which we celebrated aaaalll the day long only to realize that its not until tomorrow. whoops. but it WAS my parents 27th anniversary today! & my friend Stephanie's birthday too. so still lots of reason to celebrate :)

both of these things were exquisite :)
but i ate too much. we had a light dinner tonight. carrot sticks & hummus. & a smoothie.

Avocado Lime Smoothie
seriously the easiest ever. & its like a complete meal on its own it is soooo filling. i know it sounds strange. i mean, i never thought of putting an avocado in a smootie. EVER. but if you think you really won't like it, substitute one of the avocados for 1 1/2 cups of fruit. you also won't need hardly any of the agave nectar that way.
just do yourself a favor…don't think about all of the other foods you've ever had avocado in. it kind of weirded my belly out when daniel started talking about salsa & stuff…

you need:
2 avocados
1/8 to 1/4 cup of agave nectar (depending on how sweet you like it. you could use honey as well)
juice of 2 limes (or 1 1/2 lemons. because thats what i had)
1 cup of water (because it can get THICK)
a few handfuls of ice

blend until smooth :)

Crab & Avocado Quesadilla
we broke the rules a tiiiny bit on this one to use the bacon & crab we had left in the fridge. but ooooh.
these…oh my word. the first bite was heaven. i made homemade wheat tortillas. you can get that recipe here. (i just replaced 1/3 of the regular flour for whole) that made the process a little longer, but you could whip these up in 5 minutes if you were just using store bought ones.

you need:
2 whole wheat flour tortillas
1-2 oz. of crab meat (we had imitation crab in our fridge we needed to get rid of - so i used that. the real stuff would be even better!)
a few strips of bacon
half of an avocado
1 tbs. of lemon juice
1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese

no. 1
Combine all ingredients, except for tortillas and cheese, in a bowl.
no. 2
Heat a skillet on medium heat & spray with cooking spray.
no. 3
Lay one tortilla flat & coat with half of cheese. Pour your crab mix on top. Top with the rest of your cheese.
Place top tortilla on & place in pan for a few minutes on each side (until your cheese is melted)

tomorrow is graduation day for garrett! i'm off to the rehearsal for a few. i'll post fun things tomorrow. including an AWESOME website. probably the single most helpful thing i've found so far. resources abound. can't wait to share it :)

Jun 2, 2010

two of june.

(this picture has nothing to do with anything im posting - i just can't stand having a post without pictures)

i am still trying to pull everything together for our raw foods. its just going to take time…

for the month of june (starting june 2nd since we blew it with our pizza escapade yesterday…)

*yoga for me. every morning.
daniel doesn't have to do this. i've just been wanting to be more consistent. its good for my back :)

*drinking LOTS of water
im starting with half of my body weight in ounces. i have never ever drank enough water. so i bought a massive ball jar & a straw that i will use at home & my pink camelback for not-at-home. both have ounces written on the side.

*whole wheat breads
& only once a day max in the form of whole wheat pitas, bread & maybe an occasional scone…)

*switching to organic dairy products 
technically, if are eating only raw foods, you don't eat dairy (say whaaaaat?!) i tried finding local places i can buy raw milk - unsuccessfully. so organic of these things will do just fine for now. & you can get them for the same price as regular yogurts & milk (almost). a lot of websites have coupons. harris teeter & several others will double them. try stonyfield for starters. theres lots of others i cant think of right now…

*meat from grass fed cows & free range chickens
…maybe some fresh fish too! (anyone up for a fishing trip?)

*lots of fresh veggies & fruits
some from farmers markets, some from our patio garden…i'm also going to try out this produce group in charlotte. its in season, local produce you pick up 2x a month (i only wish it was more). they have everything in a basket for you you just grab & go. i'll see how it works & let you all know.

*making my own…
mayo (which i just tried last week), jams, salad dressings etc… that way i know exactly whats in all of our condiments & toppings & there are no extra preservatives or anything else to prolong shelf life. i mean, in what world should mayo be good for TWO years.

so, all of this means that for breakfast we will be eating lots of:
*granola & organic yogurt (by the months end i'll hopefully be making my own…)
*fresh, range free eggs (probably poached because i like them that way) & whole wheat toast
*lotsa lotsa lotas smoothies (the only reason i really dislike smoothies is because cleaning my blender out is a pain) there are a few i am wanting to try including an avocado & lime smoothie. yummmm.

for lunch:
*LOTS of salads loaded with veggies & fruits
*raw veggies
umm…i cant think of anything else yet. i haven't been good about finding recipes so far this week, sooo…this is how its gonna work for now.

*we can eat meat (yes yes yes)
*i said i was still working on this. i have no idea what we're doing for dinner tonight…

more to come.

whole wheat - you are not so yummy for my tummy.

okay. today is June 2nd.
& for our very first day of raw eating we had pizza for lunch!!! woohoo!

{clap your hands encouragingly & then tell us that we are friends, but also failures.}

well, that was a bad start. but today i am going to the farmers market. with my friend michelle. in 30 minutes. the pizza was really only because we are absolutely out of food other than granola supplies. & yogurt. & i mean, this is only half raw things. i have compiled a list that we will be sticking to & will post it later. for eating etc…

i feel like i absolutely forgot everything i had researched while we were on vacation. & then came home & immediately became a little sickie girl. (which IS awesome in the sense that daniel did dishes for me for almost the entire week! second vaca! yay!)

i'm still a bit under the weather. most of it is a dry cough, now. it was rather funny, because for 4 days i couldn't talk. so i would snap my fingers to get Daniel's attention & we played charades all week. well, & kind of pathetic, too.

oh. & my blog title.
so, first off - homemade wheat is SO much different than the kind you buy at the store. I will say that first. it is a thousand times better than white flour, but i've never been able to completely embrace the taste. & the density it brings. I can't explain it…
but my mom has a nutrimill, & we have a massive amount of wholegrain wheat in their garage, so i thought i would grind some & when we ABSOLUTELY needed bready things - it would be that. so i had my yummy jam that i wanted an excuse to eat  (other than spoonfuls at a time). so i thought i would start off by making just HALF whole wheat scones. to adjust. 1 cup white 1 cup whole wheat. substituted in agave nectar instead of sugar &&& it was not awesome. i may try again with a different recipe. i love the flakey deliciousness of scones & it just WASN'T THE SAME!!! not bad. just more bread tasting. like i said. i am going to try again. but with a different  recipe. ughhh. i can't even imagine if i'd used all whole wheat. gracious. if anyone has mastered whole wheat scones, please let me know.