Sep 28, 2010

your psl playlist.

Daniel & I have a friend named Josh.

He has an awesome blog where he makes these awesome playlists that we like lots. Good for sippin' on that piping hot pumpkin spice that you just made :)
 or packing. or whatever else.

give it a listen here.

I was wanting to have pictures for you all of our 'in-between' house stages. But we lost our camera cord soooomewhere around here : /

Today is move out day.
The saddest part is leaving our neighbors, the Wingates. They made us a really fun sign that was all over our front door last night. You can kiiind of see it. It was early when I took it on my phone.

BTW…I just wanted to say that i've loved seeing all the fun comments from people I don't know on here recently :)

Totally making my day(s).

Be back soon.

Sep 23, 2010

pumpkin spice latte.

i'm so completely addicted to these…already. again.
they are one of the joys of autumn, but i can't really be flying 5 dollar bills at every starbucks i drive by these days. which is exactly how often i want to...
so yesterday morning i tried to make one via a blog i really love by mrs. abi porter.

i would tell you its identical. but then i haven't tasted one of starbucks pumpkin spices in almost a year, so in my mind they are identical. don't tell me so if its otherwise.

this is also one of the few mugs that isn't all packed up in our apartment. 

1 cup of milk (whole milk, please. there are so many other things that can make you gain weight. this isn't the killer, just indulge with me :) you know it will taste better)
3 tablespoons of pumpkin puree (i'm using canned pumpkin right now, but i can't waaaait to use the inside of my freshly carved pumpkin soon & tell you how it turns out)
1 tablespoon of agave nectar, honey or sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 cup of reaaally strong coffee
1/8 cup of espresso

no. 1
pour milk, pumpkin, sweetener & vanilla in a saucepan & heat until steamy or just boiling.

no. 2
meanwhile, make your espresso or coffee & pour into your mug ready & waiting to go

no. 3
pour milk mixture into mug & sprinkle with nutmeg or other spices

its delish.
& heres the nutrish. just for fun.

maybe you didn't want to know that. it doesn't look so bad to me, though. if you nixed the whole milk, it would be quite a bit less.

we are moving in 5 days. agghhhhh! say it isn't so! 
but we are vacationing with my sweet parents in laws for a bit in between houses. we're actually really looking forward to it, in case you were wondering ;)
i think i'll make another latte & cozy on our couch between all of the boxes & just pretend its not really happening.
we've thought about what this day would be like for months & months. & i thought i would be glad to leave. but i realized last night, it is bittersweet. but lots of exciting, too.

Sep 22, 2010

confessions pt. 1

okay, so i've been avoiding telling you all this for a few months now, but i really don't think i can keep it to myself anymore.
daniel knows. one or two other random people may know…

are you ready?

i haven't used shampoo or conditioner in…four months?

don't freak out too much. i promise its not that gross. my hair is still clean, i just said that i don't use shampoos & conditioner & actually, my hair has been less frizzy & much easier to manage - overall. 
if you have seen me the past several weeks - don't judge. i have had lead-based paint & sawdust matting its way into my hair constantly. now that is gross.

so, i will explain everything now. 
i'm currently - & definitely plan on continuing to use a 'no-poo' method on my hair. the very phrase 'no-poo' totally weirded me out when i first saw it, & it honestly still gives me the heebies a little, but thats what people are calling it, so far be it for me to try to change it…

so, you know that maybe i've been finding a lot of alternatives to cleaners & things, but maybe this is just taking it a bit too far for people? but i love trying weird things, if you haven't noticed, & i became curious about this after reading an article here on the subject.

one thing i already knew is that most shampoo's contain sodium sulfate & loads of other chemicals & dyes, so i'd been looking into shampoo bars when i found this (those are also a good alternative, btw, especially if you like your hair smelling yummy. Mine doesn't smell like anything at all - but that just means i can load on more perfume, which is a plus, i think :)

the purpose of shampoo: is to clean or clarify your hair, but in order to do that, it strips all of the natural oils out of your hair & replaces them with artificial ones, which is why your hair will tend toward frizzing.
the purpose of conditioner: since all of your natural oils have been stripped from your hair, conditioner adds them back in, softens your hair & tries to combat the frizz.

so not only am i not crazy about the jibberish ingredients on the side of my shampoo bottle, but they really didn't seem to be working all that great for me. my hair has always been frizzy & thick. air drying was a huuuge no-no because it made it even MORE frizzy. so after i read about this, i used up the rest of the shampoo i had & decided to give it a try & i LOVE it. obviously. otherwise i wouldn't dream of telling you all this...

you need:
2 cups or bottles. the ones i have pictured work great. i found them at garden ridge.
apple cider vinegar
baking soda

baking soda 'shampoo':
this clarifies your hair naturally & without stripping all of the oil from your hair (if you have fine hair, this may not sound like a good thing, but it really is!)

add about 1 tablespoon of baking soda & 1 cup of water. if you find after trying this a few times though that your hair feels a little dry, add a little less baking soda. shake & work through your hair. it won't really lather up, but its working.

apple cider vinegar 'conditioner':
this makes your hair super shiny & nice, detangles, & seals your hair cuticles & balances your hairs pH after using the baking soda.

add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar & 1 cup of water. for fine or oily hair, 1 tablespoon is fine. If you have thick hair like me, go for 2.
*Just a side note on the water…make sure its warm. you don't want freezing water pouring down your head. right?
same as above. work through hair. you will smell the vinegar, but it actually washes out & your hair won't smell like it once your out of the shower & dry, just in case you were worried :P

okay, & i'll tell you one more awful thing. i only do this 2x a week. or every 4 days or so, because my hair is totally fine in between time. i do still shower though. fyi.

so thats all i have to tell you about for today.
hopefully you won't think of me strangely now.

ALSO: i've 'heard' that it may take a week or two for your scalp & hair to get used to this kind of thing because you're not using the chemicals in your hair, so if your hair seems a bit weird for a week or so, don't give up!

Sep 20, 2010

be posting soon :)

yes. i realize its been awhile.
i am a tired little lady.
i fall asleep before i've completely crawled into bed.
or at the computer.
or wherever else.

our little home is a hot mess, but she's going to start looking beautiful again starting tomorrow when we put the new floor down in the kitchen.
& maybe i'll start wearing anything but sofies & old tshirts. i've kind of forgotten what thats like.

i have a few fun things i want to post about soon.
well…'fun' to me :)

hope you all are enjoying the beautiful almost cool weather of fall time!

Sep 16, 2010

topsailing adventures.

we have been little travelers the past several weeks it seems.
it all started a few saturdays ago for our coleman family trip to topsail beach, nc.

daniel & i left early saturday morning so we could spend some time in wilmington, first, though. its jus a little south of topsail & is one of my favorite places in the world, for many reasons.

one of them is britt's donuts.
i am not a huge fan of donuts. or candy in general. but these…are delectable.
we drove about 40 miles out of our way just to get them.
its vacation, after all!

these are the ones. mmmmmmmm.

one of my favorite street corners in downtown wilmington. they change the cityscape every so often here. its always different & fun :)

we also went to this restaurant. i've wanted to go there for years. literally. years.
but just always thought it would be ridiculously expensive because of the cute little balconies outside i guess?
anyways, daniel took me there. & we sat in one of their little balconies. & ate delicious food. & it was a magical time. definitely a highlight of the trip. 

the rest of our time doesn't have a whole lot of pictures, actually. except for a few family ones i shot tuesday evening after a yummy dinner out with the fam :)
but we did enjoy lots of unseen beach reading, walking, talking, star gazing, crossword playing etc...

the kleins.

mimi & poppy with all of their grandbabies.

the longs.

the colemans :)

& everyone together.

a fun time with family.
we are the only childless ones of the bunch so far, but its fun to play with other peoples babies for now :)

Sep 15, 2010

a few befores...

i finally thought that, since this little home is finally ours, we can share a few "before" pictures.

although now the process is more in the "middle" stage, which is very dusty & demolished looking.

our family room. we have two wingback chairs we are going to put in front of the fireplace that are a light yellow. & want to paint the walls…any suggestions? I would do blue, but i feel like i already have shades of blue in every other room : /

dining room

our kitchen. although…i can hardly remember this kitchen. with its cabinet doors & plastic tiles on the wall & faux-stone linoleum. its looking nicer to me now :P

our laundry room. minus the cabinet on the left & the freezer.
frat boys from uncc took that off our hands for us :P

the backyard goes about 10 feet past that white building in the back.
just waiting for a garden, compost pile, pet bunny & chickens, i think :)

our 'moving date' aka the day we need to be out of our apartment is just 15 days away!
we may be living with parents for a week or so, but i think that could be fun :)

Sep 14, 2010

happy one year.

the 5th was our first wedding anniversary.

one year & a week ago i married my very best of friends.
we've become even better best friends since.
& we are weirder than we were a year ago.
of that i am sure.
but we do love to laugh together.
& i can't imagine anyone being so perfect for me.

thank you daniel for letting me feed you salads & being open to trying all kinds of strange things.
for always opening my car door.
for peppering my face with little kisses every morning.
for loving our families so much.
for making your type a wife take a break every once in a while.
for noticing when the dishes are put away & the floor is vacuumed.
for not freaking out when i cry for absolutely no reason at all {this rarely happens}
for being a listening ear.
for following my quick changes in conversation so masterfully.
for loving the lord & helping me love him more, too.
& for leading me so wonderfully when we were stuck in dallas this past weekend.
& lots of other things.

all picture were taken by the lovely Ms. Lydia Hartnett unless otherwise noted.
we were thrilled beyond words that she was able to take our pictures for us on such a special day.

Sep 9, 2010

make up brush cleaner.

i know this is going to make so many of you cringe…but i kind of forgot all about the concept of cleaning my makeup brushes. i'd heard to use baby shampoo & i don't have that, so i haven't been cleaning them.

so about a week ago, i found this girls youtube & who knows why…it was fairly early in the morning, but i clicked on her video about cleaning makeup brushes - apparently it's an important thing : /

i think maybe…thats why i break out sometimes, now that i think of it, because all of the oils on my face & bacteria are collecting in the brushes i haven't cleaned [in over a year].

so i tried this, & it worked. & my brushes were soft & fluffy & fine :)
you will need:
olive oil - to moisturize your brushes. that sounds weird, but just go with it
dawn - as your antibacterial agent
this is something that is missing in baby shampoo, too. because while it does clean your brushes, it doesn't get rid of any bacteria.
mix on a plate in equal portions - i would tend towards using a little more dawn than the olive oil, though.
now dip your brush into the mix & swirl a few times. wet a little with water if necessary & swirl around in the palm of your hand & rinse.

the only other thing that was helpful for me to know, is to not let your brushes dry on their sides.
the moisture from water will go back into the handle of your brush & loosen the glue that is keeping your bristles in place & it just takes longer.
I hung my smaller brushes on a clip hanger. & the larger ones I just lightly taped.
fancy like.

so go give your brushes a nice cleaning :)

yogurt remix.

guys…i am sorry for not testing out my yogurt recipe more extensively before posting it.
i had a few flops shortly thereafter & i think a few of you maybe did, too.
this recipe has worked for me for the past 4 batches or so, so better luck again!

same post. i just changed it up.

Sep 5, 2010

our little home.

is really truly ours.
she is messy.
her kitchen has been completely deconstructed by me.
& her yard has been made new (in part at least) by daniel & my perries & a few friends.

can't wait for you all to meet her :)

Sep 3, 2010

Heres to a new {PVC + Chemical Free} Bathroom

Here is to a new start in our new home. I've been researching a lot about healthy eating the last few months, which has been great, but i realized recently that i haven't looked much at all into the products that are in our home that may be bad for us as well. & while we obviously aren't going to be able to rip out everything that is 'toxic' or never ever drink bottled water or whatever it may be…I want to be able to  start now while we really don't have a lot to 'start over' with anyways.

So, with that said. I've been looking into water purification systems the past several days.
I first started thinking about this when I was at my friend, Crystal's house. They just got a water purifyer & i did a 'water' test.
She gave me two cups of water - one purified, & one from their tap. I didn't know which was which. You swish the water of one in your mouth for 20 seconds or so & spit it out. Then do the same with the second. I honestly didn't think I would be able to tell a difference. But as soon as I took a gulp from the seconds cup - i knew. It was the tap water. My mouth went dry-feeling & my teeth felt gritty. It was really icky. Especially since we mostly drink tap water at our apartment. Or else waterbottles, if I'm being honest. & that dry, gritty taste? Yeah. That was the chlorine.

So heres the thing about Chlorine:
It is used as a additive in our water to kill harmful micro-organisms. Which is fine & dandy in itself. But the bad part about chlorine is that it attacks organic material, such as your skin and skin oils, which dries out your skin & hair. & because chlorine vaporizes along with the hot water, it is inhaled into your lungs & is also absorbed into your skin. According to some experts, five times more chlorine enters the body through the skin during a shower than enters through drinking 8 glasses of chlorinated tap water.

One way i have heard that helps a little (if you know you will not buy a filter) is to leave a door or window open when you're showering. That way you are at least getting fresh air filtering through your lungs.
But this is what Daniel & I have decided:

we are getting THIS shower filter. Its $30 on Amazon. & you need to replace the filter every year or so. Refills are $20. Thats totally worth it to me. Especially because we are moving into an old home with old pipes that basically haven't been used in the last several years. We probably have more that needs filtering than most, even ;) The companys website, is HERE. & you can get more info there as well.

I've researched different filters quite a bit & this seems to be the best. It was also recommended in the book we're reading (below)

So in addition to our shower filter, we are also switching out our icky, needs-to-be-replaced-anyways shower curtain liner with a polyester fabric curtain liner. Supposedly, they are $10 at Bed, Bath & Beyond, so I will know for sure later today. You can also find them HERE. You know how vinyl curtains have that plastic smell when you first pull them out of their package? & sometimes just randomly after that? Yeah. I don't like that smell. Its the smell of PVC plastic (#3 plastic). In addition to having no fumes looming around your bathroom, polyester curtains dont get those gross water stains as quickly, & when they do you can throw them in your washer, which is AWESOME. I've dreaded having to pull our plastic curtain down & scrubbing it. Win/Win.

We started thinking about these things more while we read this book on the way to & from the beach. & I do mean we. I was reading it out loud :) 
Its been great so far. We have both the book & audio book (thanks, grandma)
 Daniel even enjoyed it. So there.

So thats all! No more lecturing for the day :)

Sep 2, 2010

the search for manicotti is over.

this is the best recipe i've tried. 
& i've been testing them out since the day daniel & i were married.

manicotti is one of our favorites.

& this is what it looks like as a leftover for lunch.
still not too bad :)

So there is something a little different about these…you don't use the store bought shells from the store. I've been wanting to move away from white pasta - which is originally why i wanted to try this recipe. because instead of using manicotti shells, you make crepes.
I know what you're thinking…i know. It takes too much time to make them that way. AND you will have squishy manicotti. There isn't a pinch of truth in either statement, folks. It took me at least half the time to make crepes as it did to boil, let cool & stuff a mass of shells.
You need to try them. Seriously.

To make the Crepes:
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of water
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
Mix all in a bowl & spoon about 1/4 cup of batter in your pan. You want these to be really thin. I jiggled my pan around a little to aid in the skinnyness.

(makes about 8 crepes)

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups of ricotta cheese
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
3 ounces of goat cheese (i was out of goat cheese, so i added the extra 1/2 cup of ricotta above)
1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup of basil (mmm mmm…)
salt + pepper to taste

no. 1
Mix all ingredients together & preheat your oven to 350.

no. 2
Put just enough sauce in your pan to cover the bottom

no. 3
Then put a dollop of cheeses inside your crepe. Roll in burrito fashion & place in your pan.
This picture was taken in the black hole of our kitchen. forgive me.

no. 4
Cover with the remainder of your sauce, &
a handful each of mozzarella & parmesan cheese. Bake for 45 minutes.
Add MORE basil when you pull it back out of the oven :)

If you're really ambitious you could make your own sauce.
my tomatoes didn't give me enough to make much this year, so i added:

1 large clove of garlic
1/4 cup of basil & oregano
& MORE basil to a store bought one.

recipe from jaymeilo @ tasty kitchen