Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Picture Perfect Birthday!

Today is the amazing, wonderful, and gorgeous Courtney's Birthday! In honor of her birthday, I present pictures of us through the years! 
Left to right: Courtney, Me
Beach babes hanging out at Dauphin Island!
Going to a wedding (don't you love the glasses). 
Left to right: Me, My Bro, Courtney
Another wedding.
Hanging out in 2007.

I can't find my pics from our last visit, but if I do I'll add them later.   Now, I believe, we need to visit each other again!!! 


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Temporary Switch- Mushroom and Bean Barley Soup

I’m switching things up a bit. Recipes and Pictures will be switched this week (but only this week). To make amends I will be posting Pictures (note the s as in plural, multiple pictures).

On to the recipe.
I first started using this amazing soup recipe in high school, and have loved it ever since.

This recipe makes about 1-2 servings (depending on our idea of a serving).

1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 oz. barley
1/2 Tsp dried parsley
1/4 cup canned white beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 small onion
1/4 tbsp olive oil

Drain and rinse white beans and set aside. Finely chop onions and slice mushrooms. Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Next, add broth, milk, beans, barley, and parsley. Cover and simmer until barley is tender, about 10-15 minutes. Season with black pepper and enjoy hot!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Update and Reasons to Celebrate!!!

I’m starting my first set of work for the Census on Tuesday. I’m headed to Bon Secour, Alabama. Given everything I know about Bon Secour, I’ll be posting about it later this week (I see great seafood and scenery in my future (did I mention I’m psychic)).

On to the most important business.
So many amazing people are having contests this month in celebration of reaching an impressive number of followers. You should swing by all their blogs, not just for the contests, but because they are awesome! Also, Wednesday is a certain amazing person’s Birthday!!! Be prepared to celebrate!

Contests/ Celebrations
Carol’s Prints
Carol has reached 300+ followers!!! In celebration, she is having a contest where she will be giving away some great books to 3 (or possibly 4) ‘bloggie friends’. Head over to her blog and check it out!

Constant Revision
Simon is holding the “Most Epic Contest in the History of the Blogosphere, EVAR!” He has reached 250+ followers and is holding a very fun contest. So go check it out!

Silver Lining
Julie’s “200 Awesome People Contest” contest ended on Sunday (I think, stupid me for getting behind) but she still needed mention on here. HELLO, she has 200 Awesome People following her (and happens to be awesome herself). Mention is necessary.

Writing in the Wilderness
Sarahjayne Smythe has reached 150+ followers and is giving away some terrific gift cards. Hurry over to her contest!

Good to Begin Well, Better to End Well
Amalia is holding a Dream Sequence Blogfest in honor of 100+ followers! One lucky blogfester will also receive a gift card! Off with you! Go sign up so I can read your awesome dream sequences!

Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe
Shannon Whitney Messenger is taking time out of her revisions to have a  500 Followers contest and giving away some great prize packages.  Check it out!

Margaret at Musings of a Would Be Writer had a fabulous 100 Followers contest and I won! Thanks Margaret!!!

I love how in the blogosphere, you celebrate your awesomeness by giving things to other people!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Barnes & Noble

About a week ago, I heard some very disturbing news.

My Barnes & Noble is closing.

According to rumor, they can no longer make the lease payments and have to be shut down. Their location has never been that great. They are located across the street from a mall. This means they get all the mall traffic without actually being in it. Also, there is a Books-A-Million in the mall. Not to mention that the parking lot for this shopping center is very awkward.

Barnes & Noble and I have had a long committed relationship. When I was little, their children’s section was one of my favorite places. They had all my favorite books and plenty of places to sit and read.

After my parents’ divorce, my father would pick me up every Wednesday from school and we would hang out for a couple of hours. Sometimes we went to the movies or the park; but, more often than not, we went to Barnes & Noble. We would look at books for a while, then pick our favorites and get something at the café. In the café, we would catch up on each other’s lives, or browse through our books. We would discuss what we were reading, which would generally lead to more discussion on our beliefs or opinions. This was the time when we would get to know each other. When so many of our problems would float away and our common interest in books would bring us together.

Toward the end of high school, I began looking for a job. I really wanted to work in a book store and preferred Barnes & Noble. Luckily, one of my father’s patients worked at Barnes & Noble and gave me a recommendation. My obsessive organizational skills shined. I loved being surrounded by the books. I loved my managers; Shiny Shoes, Grumpy Bear, and “Angel”. I loved spending my break reading books. I loved the atmosphere. I loved the discount.

Since graduating college, I’ve been on a budget crunch and have primarily been using the library or used book stores. In a way I feel guilty for not buying more from my trusty BN.

When I talked to one of my former co-workers last week they informed me that May 30th will be their last day. Corporate will not be opening another Barnes & Noble in our city because they figure the Barnes & Noble about 45 minutes away (on a good day) is close enough to our city. Corporate also believes that our Barnes & Noble workers can simply commute to the other location and the Barnes & Noble customers will follow. However, our town also has two Books-A-Millions and several nice small bookstores. I don’t see many people commuting to the store across the bay.

My father, sister, and I will be having a “Farewell, Barnes & Noble” day next month and will forever miss our lovely Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday Recipe- Chocolate Omelet

Don’t Knock It Till You Try It!!! (Yes, I am yelling at you)

When my mother first told me about her Chocolate Omelets I figured that it would be disgusting, but I am not one for turning down a new dish (as long as it’s meatless). What I found is that this is a delicious treat that is actually, relatively, not bad for you. Kinda.

It may sound strange (or not), but it is actually really good. My mother and father claim to have “invented” this while my father was a Resident at Duke. However, I have found several other recipes online. Some of the recipes I’ve seen online seem complicated, but this recipe is simple.

Chocolate Omelet

1 Serving

2 large eggs
2 tbsp unsweetened Cocoa
4 tsp sweetener (sugar or artificial)
2 tbsp milk
1-2 tbsp butter

Blend eggs, cocoa, sweetener, and milk. You can blend them by hand or use a blender. Make sure not to over blend the eggs, a few seconds should do the trick.
In a preheated saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat. Then, add the egg mixture. Continue to cook as you would any omelet. Some people like to finish it in the oven to ensure it is thoroughly cooked, but I generally just cover the mixture while cooking.

As a finishing touch, I like to add whip cream and strawberries or raspberries (be sure to let it cool first, melted whip cream can just make it soggy). Some people also like to mix in flavored liqueur. I recommend playing with the recipe to find your perfect mixture of cocoa, eggs, and sweetener.

Also, to make it a bit "healthier" you may want to reduce the eggs to1 yolk and 2 whites. 


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Picture Perfect Tuesday: A Bashful Rose

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet;” Or be as beautiful. 

Romeo and Juliet, Act II Scene II