Tuesday, August 30, 2011

F.A.A.....will you join?

Can I please just confess an addiction I have?

My name is Tasha, and I am addicted to......

There I said it, it's out there. Now, HELP!

I need more recipes that include it :)

Will you help?

Really my favorite way to eat it is in salads. Yum! Today when I was deeply involved in my Feta, dried cranberries, and pecan salad (which I never tire of and ONLY eat while the boys are napping in order for me to COMPLETELY enjoy and experience every morsel) I realized how boring I was for only using this one avenue for showcasing this amazing food.

So, help me. I need to be *Jazzed Up*(cue jazz hands!). Please post or e-mail me your fav recipes with Feta in it!

The Fetaholic

President, Fetaholic Anonymous Association

Monday, August 29, 2011

Boys and beans....

Ha, so this post probably isn't what you thought it would be about, but......

What's in our forecast? More heat. Boo. Which means, one very energetic toddler in the house most of the day instead of outside. Boo again.

Have you ever heard about sensory tubs? I had, but didn't really know what they were. One of Caden's Sunday school teachers had one out for his class one night and explained it to me. Caden apparently loved it! I basically compare it to an indoor sandbox for kids(in caden's case anyways). Now I totally love the idea of a sandbox, because I know boys love to dig in it, build things, etc.....BUT I was not about to invite more dirt than necessary into my house!

The tub is usually filled with scoops, funnels, cups, cars, etc.....sky's the limit with what you want to put in it. Instead of sand people usually use rice, but seeing as how that can be a really hard mess to clean up, I chose pinto beans for our tub.

Since it has been so hot outside I decided I needed to give Caden something else to play with, for his sake, and for my sanity :) Today at the store I got him a plastic tub(not too big, not too small) and a 4 lb. bag of pinto beans. When we got home he helped me empty the beans into the tub and I grabbed (slightly random) things that I knew he would have fun with. In went a scoop, plastic spoon, small bowl with lid, toy monster truck, cow Easter egg :), clothespin(to work in fine motor), even an ice cube tray!

And the verdict? He played with it for about 5 hours today. No Exaggeration.

He added magnetic alphabet letters, two plastic Easter bunnies(I have no idea why we have all these Easter items randomly around...), and two more cars :)

Who new THIS would be THAT much fun?

My conclusion? Best. Idea. Ever. (and I totally stole it) He even was careful not to spill the beans (ha) and when he did they were easy for him to pick up. Mamma loves that.

I have in the plans to make him different tubs with other fillers. I know some people even have themes...I'm thinking seasonal themes?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Old wood=New frame

Most people that know me know that I love to build, create, redo, and design things. My husband and I regularly take on projects for the house...sometimes to his dismay :) Ha, but I can blame my dad for this obsession of mine because he would frequently take on many projects like this out of interest and frugality while I was growing up.

This summer our family was able to go to Savannah, GA and spend a lot of the time on Tybee Island. My husband was there for a week long workshop at the Savannah College of Art and Design and we were just along for the ride! (I was not keen on the idea of going crazy by myself at home with two wild little boys)

When wandering through one of the markets one day we stumbled across a photographer who had MANY different photographs of abstract letters he had taken on the coast and their cities. We decided to purchase the letters to spell our last name for a souvenir of our trip (my husband condoned it because it was artsy and from places on the coast). The photographer had a great booth and matted and framed the letters for you. BUT here was our dilemma....It would be $15 a letter to mat and frame the word...yeah that would have been $90! Being the thrifty shopper that I am, that was not going to fly with me, so we asked him how much it would be to just get the letters matted...$5 a letter. MUCH better! AND I just so happened to volunteer my husband to make a frame for it. I just figured he was SO talented, he could handle it :) He rolled his eyes.

I wanted to use aged wood for the frame, so my husband kept his eye out. One day while he was driving he spotted an old wooden fence gate that someone was throwing out, so he decided to recycle it (such a good conservationist). Best part, FREE! His finished frame looked like this:
And, no, no he wasn't happy about me making him take this picture...but I was so pleased with what he did!
We contacted a glass company here in town to see if they could cut a piece of glass for us to fit the frame and they only charged $13! Yes please!

After putting it up on the wall where we wanted it we realized the wood was too light to fit with the rest of the dark woods we have so I decided to stain it.
My tools: 1" dry brush and stains, Dark Walnut and Gunstock
I decided to dry brush the stain on in order to give it a more inconsistent look to go with the old weathered wood look. I first brushed on the Gunstock as light as I could and then went over it in random areas with the dark walnut. Note: I tested this out on a scrap piece of wood first. I was pretty happy with how it turned out.
It now blends in better with the wood in our living room! And, please, I just have to note that the total cost for the frame was $13!! We saved $50 :) I LOVE saving money! And recycling of course....

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fab Food: Canned Key Lime Pie

Last week was my hubbies birthday and every year I try to think of something different to make him for dessert. I decided to make Chance a key lime pie this year....but with a twist. I wanted to do individual servings of it and was trying to figure out how to do this while also making it *cute* :) ...something I'm sure my hubbs could care less about, but oh well, I enjoyed it! I decided to make the individual servings in half-pint canning jars(I love canning jars, we use them as our iced tea glasses around here and pretty much anything else I can think of). The clear glass would be perfect to show off the layers! This recipe will make 6 servings...

First things first: The crust

8 graham crackers, crushed
4 tbs of melted butter

1. Mix with a fork
2. Press into the bottom of the jars
3. Put the jars on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes

Second: The pie filling

14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup key lime juice

1. Whisk together
2. Pour into cooled jars
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes
4. Let cool completely

Third: The *Sweet* Whipping cream

1 cup heavy whipping  cream
1 tbs sugar

1. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream and sugar together until stiff peaks form
2. Pipe (using a press or you can use a plastic bag and cut the corner off) the whipped cream into the jars...this was the easiest way to get the whipped cream in without it looking messy

Fourth: Lime Garnish

1 Lime

1. Cut lime into thin slices
2. Cut lime slice half-way through
3. Twist lime slice and press into the whipping cream

Fifth: Final Touches!

1. Screw on the lids
2. Tie raffia around the top of the jars (just cause!)
3. Refrigerate!
Happy Birthday, Babe!

They were a hit and just the right size! Yet, another reason why I love canning jars!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

Change is Good

So I realize I have not been blogging in quite some time! I have been slightly absorbed in......a book. Obsessed is more like it.

Recently with the release of the movie, The Help, I, of course(mainly because of my nosiness) wondered what the hype was about the book that the movie is based on. After asking some of my friends about it and deciding that I needed something else to read other than my, as of late, boring NF books I dove into The Help.
 The Help[Hardcover]

The book is set in the 60's and follows 3 friends and the maids that work in their city. I have been totally intrigued by the relationships between the characters and the culture that they lived in. The book has it's light moments, but for the most part covers some very heavy cultural issues. While I'm not attempting to ignore the more serious topic in the book, I have been noticing some other cultural "norms" in the book that I am SO VERY glad have changed. Mainly the ways that were "normal" amongst the female population.

My list of "Things I am SO glad have changed for Women:"

1. Panty hose....no longer is ts considered a staple in every women's wardrobe. They are hot, delicate, and don't allow sandals or peep-toes to look very lovely. Don't get me wrong, I understand their purpose and wear them occasionally(although I will say my favorite version not the typical skin-toned, it is a pair of gray herringbone hose/stockings! LOVE), but I am glad that, like Aibileen in the book, we are not having to wear them in 100 degree weather because it is considered "proper."

2. Equal Pay. Do I really need to say more about this?

3. Polishing silver. When getting married I had the option to register for "silver." It seemed impractical to us and slightly outdated so we opted for regular silverware. After reading how often they polish and care for their silverware I am SO glad we took the easier option :)

4. Showing skin. This topic is slightly controversial and honestly I don't feel like going too deep into it, but, for real...I am so glad it is acceptable to at least show your arms and neck now :)

5. More job opportunity (for the most part).

I'm sure there are more things that I could think of from the book that have changed, but I am kinda stuck on one thing. I was thinking about the obvious judgement between races in the book, but what about the issues and judgement between the women in the book? The Junior League that the girls are in stuck out to me and the cattiness and elitist attitudes that most of the girls carry. I started thinking and comparing it to today. Not the "league," but the attitudes of the girls. I would LOVE to say that women/girls today have evolved from that.....but I can't. Can you? We (women) do ourselves and our peers a disjustice at the attitude that we carry at times. Why can't we just enjoy each other's company? Without judgement, thinking ourselves better, thinking another is better, without gossiping, etc.....I am not saying that I am not included in this, Lord knows I have my struggles, BUT I am saying why not try to change? Why not, when in the company of another girl or even not in the company of that girl, simply try our best to point out the beautiful qualities of that person (every person has some, if not many!) instead of what we consider the ugly?

Why can't we all just get along?! ;)

Challenge for the week: Be aware of your inner dialogue, ESPECIALLY when thinking about our fellow females and try to be more positive. We, as women, need to be supporting each other, not breaking each other down! Let's "help" out our gender :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Just a sayin'

I came across this sign on Pinterest and I liked it because it screamed GIRL and it kinda made me feel good, but at the same time I didn't completely agree with it...

"Strength when everything seems to be going wrong"...I believe that it is important to be strong in certain circumstances, but I also believe it is necessary to be able to let it all out. I think that your heart and mind need a breather from the marathon that life tends to be.

"...happy girls are the prettiest girls"...I LOVE seeing, people in general, happy! But, in my opinion, life isn't always peaches and cream (but, yum, wouldn't that be nice?!) and the prettiest girls are the ones who are able to be "real" (respectfully! Not any of this housewives of ______ stuff!) with others.

My favorite on here though is "laughing is the BEST calorie burner"...amen to having a great time and AMEN to burning calories :)

Ha, my husbands favorite is, "kissing, kissing a lot!" Typical ;)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Hoorah for being girl?

No, I did not cook today. So, needless to say, it is not Fab Food Friday. BUT, I will be making a wonderful and easy Key Lime Pie tomorrow that I might just have to chat about in the near future...

My husband pointed out tonight that it has been a while since I last blogged. My response, "I had nothing to say...mainly because I am too exhausted to care." Why was I so exhausted? I found out today, and it is mainly because I am, well, a girl.....so I guess I do have something to say.

Today has been a LONG day, a tiring day, but a very good day.

Today I thought of thyroids....a lot. Thyroids are connected to hormones and when they aren't working correctly you don't feel very good and at the very least, "girly. You feel...blah, and NOT normal(because you aren't!). I have been feeling "blah" off and on for a while now.

Finally with the support of some of the people closest to me I decided to persist, get some answers, and get some HELP (something that is hard for me to ask for and accept).

My answer? Post Pardum Thyroiditis. An enlarged thyroid and a goiter(really wish there could have been a prettier name for this).

My help? Direction, temporary medicine for the next six months (unless it persists), and the relief in knowing that I am not going crazy, I don't have to be this exhausted, and that I can and will feel like myself again.

I appreciate the doctor and his insistence on figuring things out.

I appreciate the encouragement I received.

I appreciate the hope that I now have with this struggle.

And I recognize answered prayers.

The lesson I learned today is that, yes, as women we are STRONG and can do so many amazing things, BUT that doesn't mean we should let that image of strength blur the fact that we also need to let others help us from time to time.

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