Thursday, April 30, 2009

April 2009 Links

Here are the links to all of The Goat blog posts for April 2009

April Links


This is one of my favorite things to see in a kitchen. A plate, a papertowel and a set of tongs. It means that something special is about to happen.

Today that something special was Applewood Smoked Bacon!

Oh my goodness, it smelled so good as it was cooking.

It's almost like a beach - all the little bacons laying on the towel.

Here they are, all piled up on a pretty plate.

This is the beginning of BLT night.

My husband had a traditional BLT in sandwich for for his dinner. Since I can't eat bread (it's a diabetes thing) I make mine a Bacon and Tomato salad with a mayo dressing. I use about 1 teaspoon of mayo and 1 teaspoon of milk and whisk it together to thin it down enough to coat the lettuce. My lettuce portion was a mixture of spinach, red and green butter lettuces, celery, carrots, green onions and fresh dill. I spice it up onion powder, garlic powder, & parsley flakes.

I forgot to mention the tomato. It's called an UglyRipe Tomato and it has taste! It's an heirloom tomato that is actually sold in my local grocery store. Ohh goodness they are good.

The applewood smoked bacon is so flavorful that I only needed two pieces, but I could have eaten that whole plateful!

Is there a favorite food or dish that you've reworked into a different way?

I linked this up to Ann Kroekers Food on Friday. I haven't participated in this carnival before but this week I've chatted about food so much, I decided I must participate :)

Thanks Ann! Please be sure to go over to Ann Kroeker's place to see what others are cooking up.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thrifty Meats

Leigh, from Tales from Bloggeritaville, has been whooping it up for the past 5 days with some girlfriends at the beach (and I can't wait to see what tales she brings back for all of us.)

Since Thursday is HER day, here in Thrifty Thursday land, she decided to come home and host the carnival this week. Whew! I was beginning to really miss her.

Thrifty Thursday is all about thrifty find, a cool find, or something that was a bargain that you fell for, in a big way. This week I found this to be the best thrifty find and even though it's food - I had to talk about it.

I know we are all concerned about this H1N1 virus, also called Swine Flu. Because of it's name, which is only true of it's origins, but not of it's current state, Swine Flu has given a bad name to pork products. It's not bad enough that we are in an economic slowdown, that we have a flu that's running around causing trouble, but for people to automatically assume that our food supply is also tainted is just wrong.

No one has ever said that pork products were being recalled - no one. My father heard someone talk about how they were going to have to throw away all of the pork chops in their freezer. He was just beside himself because he'd bought about $50 worth and now he was just heart broken. My dad chimed in and told him that it was a flu, not a food issue. The guy didn't believe my dad until he said that if he brought them to his house, he'd grill them up that night!

What's so thrifty about this?

Pork is probably on sale at your local grocery store.

I mean really on sale.

I bought a pork roast and a large pork tenderloin (to slice up and freeze for future delicious meals.) I saved probably $10 on that purchase, maybe even a bit more. Pork chops were on sale, pork roast, pork everything was on sale.

Pork products do not carry swine flu.

Please support your local farmers and continue to buy the food that your family enjoys.

Tonight we enjoyed a Pork Butt Roast. I had never made one before so I went to the only source I know for recipes - I type in what I have and it gives me a million links! The first recipe I came across had all the ingredients I had in the house, so I chose that one! It's called Fall-Apart Tender Slow Roast Pork. It was really really good. Oh goodness, it was so good.

Leigh, I know you aren't a meat eater, but this was just too thrifty to not post about it today. Next week I'll do a non meat thrifty post :) The next post down, I talk about a broccoli salad that is really good!

Have a fantastic day!

*You can click on the poster image to make it larger. It's from The Other White Meat website.

Broccoli Salad

It's spring! Or summer, as it is starting to feel like here in Florida. It's time to break out the salads. I just recently had a broccoli salad at a local cafe and I went gaga over it. It was delicious, it was crunchy, it was sweet and it was full of broccoli!

After I dissected the ingredients I discovered that I had all the ingredients at home. It was a forgone conclusion that I was going to recreate it as best as I could.
I cut up a bunch of broccoli, and included a lot of the stems.

If you cut the stems all the way up to the florets, you can then break the broccoli up into little flowers without having to chop them into crumbly bits. I like to keep broccoli as intact as possible.

Here are some of the other cast of characters. I used a little mayo (maybe a tablespoon) and about twice as much yogurt to make the dressing. I also added in a bit of onion powder to the mix. I just whisked it all up to combine. You may like more mayo or less, just taste it before you pour it over the salad.

I grate my own cheese, so that's the cheese in the background, in the black container.

Here we have broccoli, walnuts and dried cranberries. I add the dressing to this and mixed it all up real well. Toss toss toss. Then I added in the cheddar cheese. Probably a 1/3 of a cup. Toss a few more times and then serve or refrigerate.

This is the finished product. I think I used a lot more broccoli than the restaurant used. I have no idea what the dressing was from the restaurant, but this dressing is wonderful. It is tangy, from the yogurt and it goes so well with the crunchy from the walnuts and broccoli and sweet from the cranberries. My husband said that the cheese makes it the cheesiest! He's such a comedian.

Broccoli - chopped and/or broken into florets
Dried Cranberries
Walnuts - chopped
Cheddar Cheese - shredded
Mayo and Yogurt dressing

Mix and eat

Have a great day!

WFMW - Interesting address labels

It's another Works For Me Wednesday. This is a blog carnival where hundreds of folks gather to share their tips for better living, better blogging, fun ideas and who knows what else! It's always a good time on WFMW days.

The host of WFMW, Kristen is talking about her favorite blogging tools. I really need to upgrade my blog and use some of these items, that's for sure.

Today, I'm talking about a few ideas I've done recently to spice up the exterior of a package or envelope. A few years back I ordered 100 - 1/2 sheet mailing labels (there are two labels per page.) I have a lot of them left, so I've been finding fun ways to use them. Remember when I talked about all of the printable downloads that I've been finding? (here) Well, I printed a bunch of them onto the mailing labels and cut them up like stickers to put on my packages.

I printed these wonderful little ladies, Matrioshka, from the Print A Day website. I put the name and address of my recipient on the lines above the dolls. It really dressed up the envelope and made it unique.

I print out other lovely pictures, too and have added them to the envelopes, the inside of cards, etc. The label paper has been a lot of fun lately.

However, you don't need label paper, or sticker paper to use these as labels. I used regular printer paper when I made this Dove, also from Print A Day. It's pretty large - nearly an entire 8 x 11 sheet of paper - I just sent off a package this week using this label. I just filled in the address & used packing tape to adhere it to the envelope. I made a label just for this blog post - I'm not sure if there is such a place as Popcorn, Arizona!

I really enjoy sending out letters and cards and it's always nice to spice up the envelopes without taking hours to do. This method just involves your computer, printer and piece of paper and tape or shipping labels. The shipping labels I found online just a few minutes ago seem to run about $10 for 100 sheets. That's a lot of sticker fun!

Have a wonderful day & be sure to check out more WFMW posts.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Font Fun

I enjoy the blog About Orange so much. There always seems to be something fun over there. Today Jess posted a link to a little typography quiz from Mental Floss. Looks like they have a lot of different quizzes.

I thought the Typography one was fun. I got 6 out of 10. Not fabulous, but better than I thought :)


Monday, April 27, 2009

Sesame Oil

I love a great idea & Make Do Monday's hosted by Ann Kroeker is a place where you can certainly find some great ideas on how to make do with what you have. "It’s a carnival you can visit to celebrate creative problem-solving, contentment, patience and ingenuity," says Ann.

Today I am going to tell you about creative problem solving. I have some antibiotics that I'm taking and they are like swallowing a piece of chalk. Neither one of the pills have a smooth coating on them and the first few times I took them they both got stuck. It's like they were Velcro.

I had a bottle of Sesame Oil and remembered that it was a very light, plain oil. So I got out one of my tiny dishes and poured a little puddle of oil into the dish. Then I tossed in my pills, rolled them around a bit, popped them into my mouth and drank a nice big glass of water. They slid right down. In fact, I've had nothing but smooth sailing since I discovered the "rolling in oil" technique.

Sesame Oil is such a neat product.

I looked around for a picture of the Sesame Fruit, the source of all things sesame, that link was all I found. I'm not sure it really is a Sesame Fruit, because it was the only one that looked like that. I'll keep looking because I want to find out for myself.

Sesame oil is used for oil massages because it soaks into the skin easily. One of my favorite authors, Victoria Moran, talks about warm sesame oil massages in her book Younger by the Day. She says that she does this a few times a week. You can read this particular excerpt here. She talks about using the sesame oil for scalp massages, too.

Sesame oil can be used for cooking and salads. It has a real high smoke point and you can even use the light colored version like the one pictured, for deep frying. Roasted sesame oil is much darker in color and should not be used for deep frying as it has a lower smoke point, but it is a popular choice for Asian cooking.

Edited to add -- PW (Pioneer Woman) talked about sesame oil today in her post about lunch. She said that she was going to be serving pasta (cold) so she wanted to use sesame oil to coat it and keep it from drying out or sticking. She also explained where to find the light oil and where you find the darker, roasted sesame oil. I found my sesame oil at a health food type grocery store. End of edit :)

I find it so interesting how involved I can get when researching some of these blog posts. I thought I was just going to tell you about my make-do and instead talked about massages and talked about one of my favorite books. The oil idea for troublesome pills is an excellent make-do idea. I hope if you ever have trouble with any pills like that, you can remember this.

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I can predict the future

Hillary, Galen (Dad) & Kristin 1996ish

My sister Hillary and I were eating at a Chinese place one day. I was telling her about some things I wanted to do in the upcoming months, going into great detail about my plans, as I recall. I remember her saying something to me like - "that sounds good" and she handed me my fortune cookie.

I opened it up and this is what it said.

In case you can't read it, it says "Forget all that wishful thinking and be practical."

I kid you not.

I burst out laughing, showed it to her and she laughed pretty hard, too.

Alison, Galen (Dad) & Hillary also 1996ish

Have a fabulous day with a belly laugh or two tossed in for good measure.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Illness Update

I just wanted to let you all know that my husband is feeling much better today. He had an appointment with a personal trainer on Friday afternoon and he kept that appointment. He was pretty whipped after that but he didn't feel poorly or have any pains.

Today he was up and chipper quite early. In fact, he had made his breakfast before I even got out of bed.

I think we have conquered the Stomach Virus. Yay!!


The Shoe Saga

The Shoe Saga.

I buy white Ryka Tennis shoes, size 9 Wide. I was just going to order them online but I noticed that they had changed the style of the shoe and that usually spells disaster for me, so I went to the mall.

Lady Footlocker sells these shoes, so I went in there. The selection wasn't great, I have to admit. I was going to try to break away from my "white tennis shoe" rut. I think it's only been 20 years. That's not a rut is it?

So I asked for 9 Wide.

He came out with an 8½ and a 9½.

I said no way. I tried on the 9½ anyway. Way too big.

He said he could order the shoes. I finally agreed.

As he was typing I said "Please make sure you are ordering a 9 Wide"

He said "I did"

Two days later the shoes arrived in my mailbox.
My feet were anxiously awaiting the new shoes.

I have completely worn out the arch in the shoes I have now.

New shoes usually last me about 6 months, sometimes less if I have upped my walking, but 6 months is the average. Usually I buy two pair at a time so I don't have to do the shoe shopping thing too often.

I opened the package and the big 9 stared me in the face. Where's the W? Where's the WIDE?

I tried on one shoe.

It felt like a vice. Not good for a diabetic with tender feet.

I called the customer service number and the very nice man told me that I had to take the shoes back to the store where I was two days ago. They could then reorder the shoes in the proper size.

So back to the store. (I'm not happy)

I get there, explain that I needed a 9 Wide and that I confirmed that fact when the sales associate was putting in the order. He told me that's what he ordered.

This sales associate got on the phone and then explained to me that there was no way the guy the other day could have ordered a 9 Wide because there wasn't a SKU in the system to be able to order it.

blah blah blah

All this meant was to me was that I had to now go back to the store in a few days to pick up the second pair of shoes, hopefully the correct size. They couldn't be sent to my house because the SKU number didn't exist in that store's computer.


So I had to take back the shoes that were the wrong size and bring them back when the others arrived.

Here I am in the new shoes at the mall. They don't look much different LOL But they sure feel a lot better on my feet. They are so shiny that they hurt my eyes in the sunshine.

I guess I should go ahead and order another pair online since I know these fit properly.

Let's see... One pair of new shoes = 3 trips to the mall in 5 days.

I noticed in all of these pictures that my right foot is turned in towards my left foot. I thought I had turned it out before I took the picture (ya know, always working towards perfection!) but I guess it slipped back without me noticing.

I have been doing a lot of walking lately and that foot really turns in when I walk. I have to think about it, concentrate on it to keep it fairly straight. How odd. I just wanted you to know that I noticed the foot thing :)

I hope none of you have to go through a shoe saga.

Oh, I have to mention. Another blog that I've been reading lately, Dust Bunny Hostage, was also talking about shoes the other day. She mentioned these Eddie VanHalen shoes that I thought were pretty cool! Now if they came in a 9 Wide LOL with excellent arch support, and leather...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Secret Scrolls

It's been a long time since I've written any of my Law of Attraction posts. Last year I got all of the posts from The Secret page-a-day calendar. This year I have a Daily Teachings page-a-day also from The Secret family of materials. These aren't quotes from various teachers, authors or motivational speakers but are action items. Sort of like the study guides at the end of the chapters in school textbooks.

I need to be constantly reminded of the Law of Attraction...that what I say, think and do comes back to me. I find myself constantly putting myself in check and rethinking my actions. Oh, I still get mad at my husband, I'm no where near Joy and Giving each day...but I'm working on it :)

Enjoy the three of the Daily Teachings.

Our highest power is love, and it is one thing each of us has an unlimited amount of. How much love to you give others in one day? Each day we have opportunity to set out with this great, unlimited power in our possession, and pour it over every person and circumstance.

Love is appreciating, complimenting, feeling gratitude, and speaking good words to others.

We have so much love to give, and the more that we give, the more we receive.

Here is something you can do that is one of the most powerful uses of the law of attraction. This exercise is thirty days of an avalanche of giving.

Every day for thirty consecutive days, give. Give joy, smiles, warm words, love, appreciation, and compliments to everyone you meet, including strangers, friends, and family. Speak from your heart, giving the very best of you in every moment of your day, and make it your mission to make every single person's day better with kind thoughts and words.

As you give the best of you, you will be staggered by the speed that it comes back to you.

It is important to remember that it is your thoughts and feelings together that create with the law of attraction, and you cannot separate them. Also remember that it's your feelings that are summing up your overall frequency and telling you what you are creating in this moment.

So how are you feeling right now? Could you feel better? Well then, do what it takes right now to feel better.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Photo from The Telemorph

A Trillion Dollars

A friend of mine sent me this link today.

I think I've looked at it ten times so far.

Since it got my attention, I thought it might be interesting to you.

Thanks GalPal!

What Does a Trillion Dollars look like?

Just a little drama

I tease my husband that he is a drama queen. If he stubs his toe, it's broken beyond repair. If he has a tickle in his throat, he's got the flu. and today, he had pains in his digestive system. He's had a stomach virus for a few days now and today he ate half a sandwich. His first food in two days. I thought it was a little too heavy and sure enough, a few hours later he had a belly ache.

I've seen a lot of the Mayo Clinic, but this was not a section of the hospital that we'd been to before. The new hospital opened last April and it's always a pleasure to see the lovely new spaces.

This is the Emergency Room waiting area. I was shocked that there wasn't a single other person in the place. The fire alarm was going off when we walked in (they were testing the system) so that might have scared off some folks. We were not deterred, however because Tom said that the pains in his abdomen were close to the pains he had when he had a ruptured appendix. Drama Queen or not, I was hauling his post liver transplant, immune suppressed body into the hospital.

We got him all checked in, got a room (Room 3) and then he put on a lovely robe, (he arrived at the hospital wearing pajama pants and slippers, so he was all set there.) We've done this before :)

I asked Tom if I could take his picture and he told me that he was going to try to look as pathetic as possible. I think he did a real good job lol Below is a close up of his goofy face.

Tom started feeling better almost as soon as he got into the room. Figures, huh?

Immuno-suppressed people, like my husband, are delicate when it comes to colds, flu, scratches and scrapes and anything else that has to do with the cells of the body. He once had a cough and cold for 10 weeks. It was the same cold that everyone else had but only lasted a week for them.

Before we left the house, I managed to remember my Kindle. Thank goodness because I didn't have a whole lot to do. This is how I set up my space. I arranged my bag to elevate the Kindle and then sat in the chair and read. I love that I don't have to hold the book open, or place my bookmark in a book to lay it down every 5 minutes when Tom needed to tell me something or when a Doctor or Nurse came in.

Tom was watching the news on the TV and at some point they wheeled him out for a CT scan which took about an hour, they checked the 10 vials of blood they drew and ruled out everything we thought might be wrong. (I said we - like I'm a doctor) Turns out that he has inflamed lymph nodes due to the stomach virus, also known as adinidus. I think it was the turkey sandwich that put him over the edge. He's supposed to rest and when the virus has run it's course, the inflamation should go down. If not, we follow up with our doctor.

Tonight for our late dinner, he had chicken noodle soup.

That was Thursdays drama. We haven't had an ER visit in almost three years, so this wasn't too bad. I just wished I'd have grabbed my sweater. Thankfully I did grab the Kindle!

Hope you have a great day!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cookie Cutters

It's almost too late for this post, but I'm going to do it anyway. Today is Thrifty Thursday over at Leigh's Tales from Bloggeritaville. She hosts this carnival each week, but THIS week, she is off on a Beach weekend with her friends! (The nerve lol) So, Chandy of What Now Tablescapes, has graciously agreed to host Thrifty Thursday while Leigh is of town. So please hop on over to Chandy's and check out who else has joined in this weeks carnival.

I think it was almost a year ago that I went to an estate sale with my Mother. In fact we went to that sale three times that day. We kept thinking about things that we saw. However, on that first trip I saw these cookie cutters and I snatched them up. I grew up using a few of these shapes for our Christmas sugar cookies and have always wanted to have some like it. I think these were 25¢ each. Truly a thrifty thrifty deal.
I remember when I would show my friends the cookie cutters this one was the "stumper." It does look kind of odd, but once you know that the big square on the one side is a sack full of toys, then the guesses all come around to Santa!

This little cutter was not in the estate sale finds, but my mother did own one and I've also been looking for it (with the little hole cutter still intact) and hadn't found one...until a few weeks ago.

I went across the hall to my 85 year old neighbor's home to ask her for a wine cork. She told me to start opening up the drawers in the kitchen because she was sure they were in one of the drawers. One of the drawers I opened had this biscuit cutter in there and I commented that my mother had one of those.

We found the corks, I thanked her & told her that I needed to be on my way. The next thing I know, she's pressing the biscuit cutter into my hand saying that she hasn't used it ages and she wants me to take it home with me. Once Virginia gets something in her mind, you can't say no. I've learned that about her. So I graciously accepted the gift and beamed for a whole day.

Those are my Thrifty finds for this week. One freebie and $1.25 out of pocket for a small bit of childhood nostalgia.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Perpetual Calendar

Isn't this a cute little calendar/pencil holder? To see the full sized picture, go to either of the links below.

One of my favorite design blogs, Design*Sponge
has DIY Wednesdays and this was featured recently. I had missed it but thankfully another website that I frequent, Folding Trees, also featured this fun project.

I have a little pile of empty walnut containers in my kitchen and I've been trying to figure out what to do with them. I may have a use for one at least!

Oh and did I mention that it includes a free downloadable template? One of my new favorite things!

Have a fabulous day!


Originally uploaded by ninainvorm
I thought this was beautiful!

and I'm testing out the Flickr "blog this" area.

Edited to add - It worked! Although the photo isn't as large as it was on the main Flickr page. I think I'm going to print this out and make it as an insert to Zora's birthday card.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

WFMW - Wordle

It's another Works For Me Wednesday. This is a blog carnival where hundreds of folks gather to share their tips for better living, better blogging, fun ideas and who knows what else! It's always a good time on WFMW days.

This week I want to introduce you to something that you may have seen already, but had no idea how it was made. It's so easy and fun!

It's called WORDLE.

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

One of the things I have found is that you can't "Right-Click" and save the image. So you have to use the Print Screen feature on a PC or use the Apple-Shift-4 combo on a MAC to save the image. I then put them into my Photobucket account and edit them from there. (Resize, rotate and crop)

The text I used in the images was from some text that talked about gratitude and the qualities needed to be a Fabulous Person. I also added in a few words so that they'd show up in the graphic - like Works-for-me-Wednesday. To keep words together put a dash between them. If one word stands out too much - delete some of the duplicates. If you want a word to stand out more - write it in your text a few more times.

I take the text that I want and put it into my email program and save it as a draft. That way I don't lose the text if I happen to close the window. (Hmmmm, I wonder how many times I've done that!) When I edit the text, I do it in the saved draft.

You can also direct Wordle to a URL and it will create a word cloud from that front page. That's fun, too.

Without further ado, here are the graphics I created today. All in about 15 minutes.

I think these would be great to use as an insert in a card or even as the feature on a handmade card. You could put your children's names, their date of birth, and party words into the text area and use that as a party invitation. I've printed out a few of my favorites and have them on my bulletin board as inspiration.

I left several of these images large, so you could really see the words, but as you can see, they can still be quite striking when they are small, too.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks Works For Me Wednesday. Have a Fabulous, Wonderful Week!
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy BIrthday Nieces!

A couple of years ago my sister, Alison, made a castle cake for Zora. It was all Zora talked about for months. She loved that cake. (Update 4/23/09 From the comments my sister made, I guess Zora still talks about it. So much so that Alison called this a castle cake instead of what it really is - a crown cake. I won't edit the rest.)

I guess the castle theme was still on Zora's mind. But this year, the castle was a group effort. Zora decorated the cookies and I bet she helped in the baking of the cookies, too. I thought this cake was a crown when I first saw it, but they called it a castle.
Stella's birthday was this past weekend. Doesn't she just look adorable with that beautiful little cupcake in front of her?!!
Zora's cake was at the other end of the table and she had a few friends over to help celebrate her birthday, which is this week. My very smart sister had both of their celebrations on Saturday. :)
Stella started walking a few weeks ago. I can't wait to see her walking. Stella is here with her momma, Alison. Hillary is in the background...waaay back there!
My Mother, the girl's Nana, is here with Stella.
And here she is with both girls.

Happy Birthday lovelies!!
Tottie Kristin