Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
2 T olive oil
2 lb stew beef (cubed)
2 large sweet onions (chopped)
3 T garlic flakes
2 t ginger
2 med butternut squash (cubed)
28 oz can diced tomatoes
16 oz can tomato sauce
4 c beef broth
1 T cumin seed
1 T cinnamon
8 c whole wheat couscous
1/4 c sliced almonds
1/4 c minced fresh parsley
Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook until browned on all sides (about 5 min). Transfer meet to stock pot leaving juices in pan. Add onion to pan; cook until translucent (about 6 min). Add garlic and ginger and stir while over heat for 1 min more. Transfer onion mix to stock pot and add squash, tomatoes, sauce, broth, cumin, and cinnamon. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low and simmer until beef is tender (about 30-35 min). Place large spoonful of couscous in bowl and top with stew. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and minced fresh parsley to garnish.
Here's what I found:
An original 8x10 watercolor painting by Jessica Tai of CLine Creations. Want more pumpkins? Check out the Handmade Halloween Gift Guide on Notes From the Handmade Highway.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
This week's letter is "L."
To play, simply scan your shelves and piles of books to find a title starting with the letter "L." Post a picture, the title, synopsis, a link to the book (from amazon, etc), and post your link back here at Reading on the Beach. Have fun finding an old friend or maybe something you've been meaning to read, but had forgotten for a time...
MISTAKE #1: Dickie Orr. Stephanie was married to him for about fifteen minutes before she caught him cheating on her with her arch-nemesis Joyce Barnhardt. Another fifteen minutes after that Stephanie filed for divorce, hoping to never see either one of them again.
MISTAKE #2: Doing favors for super bounty hunter Carlos Manoso (a.k.a. Ranger). Ranger needs her to meet with Dickie and find out if he's doing something shady. Turns out, he is. Turns out, he's also back to doing Joyce Barnhardt. And it turns out Ranger's favors always come with a price...
MISTAKE #3: Going completely nutso while doing the favor for Ranger, and trying to apply bodily injury to Dickie in front of the entire office. Now Dickie has disappeared and Stephanie is the natural suspect in his disappearance. Is Dickie dead? Can he be found? And can Stephanie Plum stay one step ahead in this new, dangerous game? Joe Morelli, the hottest cop in Trenton, NJ is also keeping Stephanie on her toes-and he may know more than he's saying about many things in Stephanie's life. It's a cat-and-mouse game for Stephanie Plum, where the ultimate prize might be her life.
With Janet Evanovich's flair for hilarious situations, breathtaking action, and unforgettable characters, LEAN MEAN THIRTEEN shows why no one can beat Evanovich for blockbuster entertainment.
This is book #15 in a series of books about bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum (two were "between the numbers" books). This past summer, I was eating these books up - read through book 11, so I have not yet gotten to this yet. I found these books very funny and easy reads when sitting in a doctor's waiting area.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
If you are near Cary and get to do one of these Sip & Shop events, I highly recommend it. The staff was very accomodating, the food was delicious, and the event was well organized. The group of artists and crafters was great, too; I love meeting the actual people behind etsy shops. Last Thursday, I was between MegR NC, Phroggy Dee, and Linda Searcy Jewelry. The Cafe holds much more than you would guess and Linda's blog has additional pictures of all the different artisans and crafters there.
I've been drawn to this oil painting on etsy from Lynn Cyr. It is an original on a 12 x 6" gallery wrapped canvas - I just cannot figure out which room in my house this picture would be best -
or if I need a different sort of art from Lynn Cyr. In addition to the beautiful paintings, she also has an interesting collection of birch bark accessories.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Checking in for week 3... Ah, much better! Was still feeling a bit of last week's flu dregs in the beginning of the week, but Mon-Fri were great. This week's total is 12, making my total 32 miles!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Yoga has definitely changed for me over the years - and not just because I was moving all over the US. For the past 8 months, I've been doing Steve Ross' Inhale program that comes on Oxygen Channel at 6 am EST. I like the casualness of the program and just read an interesting review on it, too. I recently tried yoga with one of my friends' trainers and that was no good - I can't do a 30 min yoga session with someone repeatedly telling me that all other yoga instructors are wrong in their teaching - I prefer Steve Ross' mentality that comes across the screen... some like x, some like y, and others like neither, but it is all good - or at least that's what I get from his commentary :)
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Earlier this year, I discovered my favorite "organizational" item for craft shows. This wide, 3-drawer plastic bin:
This week's letter is "K."
To play, simply scan your shelves and piles of books to find a title starting with the letter "K." Post a picture, the title, synopsis, a link to the book (from amazon, etc), and post your link back here at Reading on the Beach. Have fun finding an old friend or maybe something you've been meaning to read, but had forgotten for a time...
The Kite Runner tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, who betrayed his best friend Hassan (by allowing him to be raped), the son of his father's Hazara servant, and lives in regret. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of the monarchy in Afghanistan through the Soviet invasion, the mass exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime.
I bought this book a couple of years ago after I listened to - and liked - A Thousand Splendid Suns (also by Khaled Hosseini) on Audiobook. The Kite Runner was in my pile of to-read-real-soon books, but somehow got put away on my shelves. Digging it out last night in preparation for today's entry, I have begun reading it and by next week, it will be in the already-read pile :)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Some local NC sellers are participating in a giveaway on the blog Things Moms Like. Entry deadline is 21 Oct, so don't delay :) (The giveaway is on the post for 15 Oct.)
With this giveaway, you could win:
1 bar of Nitty Gritty Soap from Buffalo Gals on etsy,
1 Bar of the original unscented goatsmilk soap from Buffalo Gals on etsy,
2 fork easels with a bundle of recipe cards from Dinner Time Chimes on etsy!
Now I do love hadmade soaps, but I like these easels, too! I think they could go perfect with my mostly recycled item displays (like this one to list prices versus the current Dollar Tree acrylic frames that I use).
With my obsession with Scotland and beaches, you'd think I would have brought up this shop long before now :) With a variety of wooden ornaments, jewelry, and sea shells, this Scottish shop has lots of cute and affordable gifts that ship worldwide.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Don't worry, I'll comimg back and will be better next week!
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Do you like whimsical artwork in both 2-D and 3-D? then I am sure you will want to check out Aunt Jane!
So what have I done in the past to reduce my impact on the environment... I grew up in a big recycling family - my dad, being an environmental engineer working for the Navy, actually participated in creating some of the first recycled plastic lumber, designed the low-flow showerheads and toilets still used on ships today, and completed numerous oil/contamination clean-up projects. (I had lots of material for reports and research papers all the way through school.)
My next stage in life was as part of the military - Marine Corps, to be exact. It never occured to me how careless one entity can be toward the environment... and labeled as a tree-hugger from the beginning, those 5.5 years were a struggle. Do you know how much trash from MRE packages are sitting in the woods in Quantico? I honestly don't think those packages degrade over time at all, and people going through training are still dropping them on the ground and making fun of the few who pack out their trash. Do you know that just about all Marine Corps installations have recycling bins all over the place? Do you know what happens to them? The "weekly" cleanup crew (active duty Marines) most often empties them into the trash dumpster. You wouldn't believe what I was called as I would repeatedly call their superiors to complain as I see them doing it right in front of me. Do you know how few Marines or civilian employees care about energy waste? I was one of two people in my last building (who would go through offices and turn off lights and TVs as I left (and those office occupants had been gone for the day). Their excuses when you bring it up to them... they're not paying for it! Do they not understand that the taxes that are taken from their paychecks go to pay for the electricity that is used to heat and light the building? There were many days where I wondered if my little bit was helping the environment at all when so many just did not care.
So where am I today? I live on property that backs up to wetlands, so I use no chemicals at all on my yard out of fear it will be washed away to the area behind me. I have planted 9 new trees (between 4 ft and 14 ft all) and 20 arbor day seedlings (only 8 survived, though) in hopes of one day improving air quality. I dug up about 800 square feet of lawn to create a garden with a variety of trees, native flowers, and berries. I grow my own vegetables and fruits (and go to the farmers' market for the ones I can't grow). I have a rainbarrel that collects the rain from my roof so I can water my flowers. I refuse to water my grass - tell the neighbors, I'm making it hardy, but this year I noticed, mine grew much slower so I was mowing less than 1/3 the amount of times they were. All light fixtures in my house have CFLs except one. I unplug all apliances (even the TV to my husband's constant annoyance) when not in use. I recycle and reuse everything that I can - I'm so happy now that stores are used to me bringing in my old canvas bags, old yogurt containers made the best "homemade" pots for small housewarming gifts, paperboard from products are great backers when making handmade tags - oh, my list is endless!
What is still left for me to do? More trees - Yes, I love trees and still have room for a couple more! Find someone with the right sort of platform to reach my foyer chandelier and replace those bulbs with CFLs. Dig up another 400 sq feet of lawn and turn it into a wildflower garden. Get at least one more rain barrel hooked up at my house. Buy a non-powered lawnmower. Increase vegetable output so I can do my own canning. I think I could make this list go on for days...
Is there anything you want to change in the future?
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
So this period's goals - each week I complete 2 yoga sessions, 1 pilates session, 2 weight-lifting sessions, walk min of 8 miles, 1 bike ride, and 1 time on the elliptical, and concentrate on eating 9 servings of fruit and vegetables per day.
So update at the end of week 1 - I only hit 3 of my own goals... but I need to start somewhere and now the only direction I can go is up!
Per the 100 mile challenge, my 1-8 Oct mileage is 15!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
So scanning my bookshelves, I find, out of more than 1,000 books, only two that begin with the letter "I" (for titles)... of course I found this exercise a lengthy one because my shelves are organized alphabetically by author - but it did make me run over all of the titles again :)
The choice for reading today - if only I could be sitting on the beach, too - is humor.
Tim Allen's I'm Not Really Here.
Synopsis: In I'm Not Really Here, Tim Allen takes a look at men and their relationships to wives, children, friends, the universe, God, and why it's tough to get a good night's sleep. In the Toolman's inimitable way, he deals with some of the urgent questions a man faces: What is real? What should I eat for breakfast? Why do parents always tell you not to stir your ice cream into soup? Why are the canned beans next to the tampons in the supermarket?
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
If faeries aren't your thing, this shop has a great selection of goddess wear and unique vintage finds. But, I'd like to stay in my faerie land for a little while... where money is no matter and I have lots of faerie balls to attend on a weekly basis... For the accessories to go with this beautiful costume:
The Purple Bracelet! Not only has Gypsy Moon Art used my favorite colors, but I believe I could wear this bracelet every day. Check out this shop for a wide selection of wire art!
A tiny ring for my wee little finger! Dee at Bei Creations has wrapped a beautiful ring that would look perfect on my hand as it is kissed by every faerie prince coming to visit my ball!
Jewels for the Neck! Being in faerie land means having an affinity for nature that this beautiful necklace from rwestdesigns just seems to bring out! Check out this shop for some very unique beaded designs.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I feel like it is... (or at least I did from June until this past Saturday...) See this beautiful hawkwing conch. I got it from my mother in Cuba a day after Memorial Day and began working the copper wire around it immediately. (I remember the exact day because it was the day after we had both done a Guantanamo Bay craft fair.) Anyway, that piece came back to the states with me and has sat unfinished (wish I took a picture of it with the ends still flying around haphazardly) - albeit the wire was probably overworked as I tried and tried to make the ends do something that made sense. This past Saturday evening, I had an epiphany: Stop trying to do something outrageous and just do small spirals!I finished it and am now on a roll -18 large book marks, 2 small bookmarks, 5 cards, 2 pendants, and 1 pair of earrings. I would have stayed up all night Saturday and Sunday and kept making stuff, but since my husband doesn't get to enjoy every weekend at home, he doesn't like it if I hide in my crafting room the whole time :)
They weight has lifted, and I feel great!