Friday, July 8, 2011


I have a new blog.  You all should go there now, and follow me for the rest of your life.  Ok, that sounds like a cult but seriously, I'd love you forever if you'd follow me over there and support my new blog and my new ventures. is where its at.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I was in a car accident last Friday.  I'm fine.  My car is not.  I'm ok if it gets fixed or if it gets totaled and I have to car shop again.  I wasn't that attached as the last one.  More to come later.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In Honor Of Mother's Day

I know the title of this post is a little late in coming but for some reason or another, I had no words to say this Mother's Day.  I wasn't sad, I wasn't mad, I wasn't jealous,  I wasn't thankful, I wasn't much of anything.  I kind of felt a bit numb to all things Mother's Day.  I'm usually the sappy one who makes tear-filled remarks about the loss of my mom or thanks those who helped me grow up after my mom died.  I was a bit apathetic to it all.  BUT that has since ceased, and here are my 10 things that I've learned from my mom, my aunt, my former co-workers, my friends, etc.  All whom are mothers, past, present, and future.

1. If you've got a freak flag, let it fly.  There's probably a really good reason why you don't fit in, its because you weren't meant to.  You may not figure it out for a while but when you do, you'll know.
2. Love what you do and do what you love, don't spend your life doing anything else.
3. My mom taught me to cook, my aunt taught me to love it and everyone else makes me keep loving it by loving what I cook and encouraging me to do more.
4. It's OK to cry, but sometimes you just need to pull up your big-girl pants and move on.
5. Strength can be obtained, found, borrow, felt and/or shared.
6. Laugh.  A.  Lot.  Like an obscene amount.  Even if you're laughing at yourself.  Laughing is awesome.
7. Love a lot, and fiercely too.
8. My mom taught me that a good song cranked up too loud with your windows down driving too fast, can cure any bad day or bad mood.
9. Honestly and humility are two invaluable traits to have.
10. Don't regret anything.  Don't regret those nights you got too drunk, that failing grade you got, that boy you did or didn't kiss, the things you did or didn't say, the people you didn't get to know, the money you wasted, the people you lost touch with, being angry, or that horrendous outfit you wore.   If you learn something from every experience, then there's no reason to regret it, embrace it and move forward.  

Happy Belated Mother's Day to all of the mothers I know, have known or will know.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Home. A simple but complicated word, to me. For 23 years of my life I called Hedrick, Iowa home. Now I call West Des Moines, Iowa home. I call Hampton, Iowa my dad's home. Like I said, a bit complicated. A couple weeks ago, I went home home, as in Hedrick or more specifically Pekin, Iowa where I spent 13 years in school and worked for 4 of those years. Work was what took me back to Pekin, after a three year hiatus. My dad sold our house in Hedrick roughly three years ago and moved to northern Iowa. For multiple reasons, I didn't feel the need to visit, I felt the need to just move on. My dreams of bringing my husband and kids(both hypothetical) back to "grandpa and grandma's house" were dashed, getting to sleep in my old "Barney-blew-up purple room", and visiting people I'd known my entire life over holidays spent at my parents house were all things I had to move past. Life happens, things change, I moved to Des Moines, my dad sold the house and I made a clean break from southern Iowa. BUT the one thing that kept drawing me back was my love for my old job. Not just my old job but the people there. More specifically, the people who helped save my life. At times I can be dramatic, this is definitely not one of them. If you want to meet the most selfless, wonderful, caring, loving, feisty, hilarious people.......... spend a day at the Pekin Childcare Center(with a lunch trip to Miss Kitty's Barber Shop in Ollie, IA). You'll have to try hard for that place NOT to change your life. Read part VIII about 2/3 of the way down the page.  (4th paragraph to be exact.)  My old boss, Deb, had been telling me that I needed to come visit for a while.  I kept thinking that, before I went home and faced everyone[that I hadn't seen in three plus years], I needed to make something of myself first or be somebody cool that everyone would love and lavish with exciting questions about my oh-so-fantastic life that everyone wanted but only I had!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sigh.  I settled for having a job I didn't hate and being really happy with where God had put me in life at that moment.  I think it was an attitude thing. I was nervous of being treated like the girl whose mom died(aka sad and depressed and congrats that you haven't killed yourself out of grief yet and OH MY GOODNESS its so great that you live somewhere, not in the trenches of your guilt and sorrow.) Yes, somewhat dramatic, but some people have a hard time seeing Me as a thriving [happy] adult instead of the 16-year old sad girl who just lost her mom.  Believe me, there's nothing that shoves you off the cliff of depression quicker than someone making you feel like you should be depressed.  Well, armed with a lot of prayers and a good attitude and a crap ton of optimism, I took Thursday off for my visit(the day that Quinn and Ellie are at the daycare) and I took Friday off for good measure AND to have a long weekend.

My Thursday started around 3:43am, when my blasted alarm went off.  Deb(my old boss) had told me to try and be at the daycare around 7:45am when she walked the school kids over to the main building and retrieved the pre-school kids from the buses.  SO I would get to see the twins as they got off the bus, SUPER  amazing prospects of my day to come!  Well I was up, showered, ready(with really good hair might I add for that early), and I had planned to get some Starbucks(two actually, it was going to be a long day without it) for the road.  I left a bit before 6am to get gas and head to SBUX, which was open before 6am and I was ETERNALLY grateful.  I swiped up a grande triple skinny caramel macchiato and a triple skinny cinnamon dulce latte.  One stayed nice an warm in my insulated cup holder(ah, the little things in life that come with a new car) and one got sucked down as I headed out of Des Moines in the dark.  I actually truly and whole heartedly LOVE mornings.  It was a crisp, still morning which is just the type that gets my undying love and affection.  I had previously made some mixed CDs(wow, that's something that I haven't said in a while but I needed to test out the CD changer in my new car, another perk to the new version!)  so I popped those in as I reminisced over each song.  It stayed dark for the bulk of my drive, but just as I hit the east side of Pella the sun was starting to come up and I instantly almost started to cry. Because the image of what I was looking at was identical to the painting that I donated to charity almost two years ago. I'm still baffled that I did this.

Not wanting to ruin my fresh make-up(thus ruining the entire "look" I was going for that started with my stellar hair) I wiped the tears and just continued to enjoy the view.  Watching the sun come up and the world wake-up is  so refreshing to me. The closer and closer I got to "home" the more and more reminiscent I got, about everything.  I guess that happens when you're not around much anymore.  I think my mind has changed and I now regard "home" as a happy place, and I see all of the good memories about it.  I see the idealized version of it that my head and my heart want to remember, not the bad memories that have since been overshadowed.
 I got slowed down going through Osky where I had to transition into a two lane highway, those I am definitely not used to OR their turtle-like speed limits.  For the last half hour of my trip, I was driving completely into the sun and its lucky that no one got hurt because I couldn't see a thing but it was pretty!!!  I got to the Daycare with just a few minutes to spare before we walked the kids over.  I had made a killer apple pearberry crisp for everyone to share, so I dropped that off and my stuff and we headed back across the driveway to the main building.

Deb said Ellie was usually the last one off of the bus, so we should have caught them before they went in to school.  They've known I was coming for over a month(apparently) and had been bugging everyone at the daycare about it.  My heart smiled when I heard that, because I  even think its a little odd to love two kids, that aren't even related to me, so much.  I'm actually surprised that they remembered me but I was also deeply moved that they still did and were so excited.  Well, I got a bit side-tracked.  Deb had to pick something up in the office and I(hesitantly, because students were never allowed in there and I still considered all of the teachers, well, my teachers) went in with her and immediately bumping into a couple people from my old church and/or parents of some friends.  I saw A's dad(both of her parents were my teachers at one point in my scholastic career and I still call them Mr. and Mrs.) and talked to too many people before Deb had to pull me away.  Needless to say, we missed them getting off of the bus.  SO I had to wait the entire day before I got to see them, totally worth it but still.

So, we boarded the bus(so long since I've been on a bus) and rode back to the daycare for the day.  By the time I got back, it was story/learning time, then some outside time, then back inside for snacks, then back outside and then inside for lunch, wash dishes, watch a movie and get ready for naps!  I took a break during nap-time to go visit the best Barber in Iowa.  Don't take my word for it, she's got the award to PROVE it!!!!!   ALSO she's Deb's best friend and a dear friend to me and someone who means more to me than I think I can ever express.  After turning down the only road getting to Ollie(that had apparently been fixed, no more needing to wear a sport's bra to drive on it) I walked into the bright yellow door of her barber shop and got a nice warm welcome like no time had passed since my last visit! So we chatted while people came in and out to get their hair done and after what seemed like minutes, two and a half hours had passed and I had to get back to the daycare to see the twins!

I hightailed it back to the Daycare just in time to say good-bye to Deb(we both dislike good-byes so it was casual, "see you next time" kinda thing) and some other people that I used to work with and was left with all of the newbies that i didnt' know.  So I was the creepy girl waiting for the twins.  They walked in and HOLY COW, they were not six years old anymore.  Which I knew but seriously Ell was almost as tall as I am and Quinn looked just the same, but taller.  They're not kids anymore, they're like actual people!!!!!!!!  Well I was hesitant to hug them because I didn't know if they were too cool for that kind of thing but I think there was a mutual excitement between all of us.  Quinn showed off his stripper moves(I can say that because his mom said that he never like being dressed as a child and she always worried he'd become an exotic dancer) and some awesome kid-jokes.  We talked about how Justin Beiber was SO out and the girls that are obsessed with him(you should stay away from, that was my tidbit).  We talked about their cousins, their step siblings(one of whom was drunk one morning, thank you Ell for pointing that out and for also saying that it was gross.  That's my girl!!!) and everything in between.  We reminisced about when Deb put Quinn's hair in pigtails and Ell's clothes and tried to play a joke on me.  i have photo proof of that one.  Apparently that wasn't the only time but Quinn used to have longer hair and they decided to put pigtails in it and subsequently start calling him Quinderella, AWESOME!!!!!!!!  I'm still laughing about that one.  OH and Deb told me about a conversation that she had with Quinn.

Quinn: So, is Meredith married yet?
Deb: No. Don't you know she's waiting on you!
Quinn: Oh, isn't everyone!!!!!!!!!

REALLY?????!?!?!?!?!  AND that's why they are two of the awesomest kids EVER.  I could have just stared at them and watched them be kids because I simply love them so much and they have no clue how much they have done for me and mean to me.  Long about 5pm their mom came to get them and we chatted about life and all the happenings and about her having almost 10 year olds!!!!!!!!  Their mom is wonderful as well!!!!  Well, I needed to be heading back so I walked out with the twins and their mom and headed back to West Des Moines.  I had had exactly TWO triple grande lattes and TWO Larabars. And. That.Was. It!!!!!!! So in a starving-hate-to-stop-while-on-a-roadtrip mood, I called Meg and asked if she'd have something waiting for me to eat when I got home.  I didn't care, anything edible and mildly healthy.  As I sang to my mixed CD's and made my way back to the city, I did a lot of reminiscing and finally came to the conclusion that home, no matter how many bad things have happened and terrible memories lye there, is home and it will always hold a small piece of my heart.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Vegan top 10

I would say I've been 50%(or more) vegan for the last nine months.Read Here for the full story of why.  This month is dedicated to completely purging myself and my house of dairy riddled things and forming new habits where old animal-product-filled ones were.  SO here are my [some] recent and not-so-recent vegan loves:

1.Larabar has the BEST snack bars EVER!!!!!!!  I believe I heard about them on Kath's blog and decided to try them on my trip to SLC last fall.  I started with the chocolate ones but I actually prefer their fruity ones.  Key Lime Pie, Blueberry Muffin(have yet to try, I'm restraining myself because I just OD'd on their CARROT CAKE) I've been waiting to find a place to get carrot cake flavored and I broke and just ended up ordering a variety pack online which had all the flavors I loved and all of the flavors I wanted to try, minus Cinnamon Bun.  LOOOOOOOOOOOVEE them all.  Seriously, and so good for you.

2.Silk Milk  I've actually drank Silk Light Soymilk in Vanilla since I was in college but these days I'm delving into their Unsweetened Almondmilk(for cooking, I had to use vanilla one time in a savory lasagna. Not great.) and their new Coconut Milk which I adore.  I adore anything coconut really but this tastes like liquid icecream, in a really good way!  Have I mentioned that during the holidays they have fun flavors like chocolate mint and PUMPKIN SPICE.  I buy in bulk and freeze them.

3.The best Protein Powder I've had to date - I've mentioned this before.  On my first trip to a Whole Foods, I bought a sample packet of two other protein powders that are EXPENSIVE but I wanted to try them.  I used one this morning and I choked it down because I knew it was good for me and because I paid $3 for that one packet.  I love LOVE the homemade version so much better.  Even without any flavoring or spice, its 10 times better than the two sample flavors I purchased.  I definitely want to try some other flavors mixes with the homemade version(I've used Trader Joe's Hemp protein in vanilla and chocolate and made my own chai spice mix to use in place of the cinnomon, recipe found HERE)

4.Alternative Baking Company has THE BEST Pumpkin Spice vegan cookies I've ever had. EVER.  I've been eating this brand since college.  All of their flavors are PHENOMENAL but of course the pumpkin is divine.  You can get them at HyVee but I pay the extra ten cents and get them at Gateway Market, they're not stale and hard there.

5. VEGAN BLOGS, so I was reading an article posted byLove Veggies and Yoga about the Power of Blogs and its totally true.  I would rather have a regular person review a product or buy a product that a regular person uses rather than a celebrity.  I don't know if I've ever purchased something simply because a celebrity has/uses it.  I have been opened up to a whole new world of cooking and products and ways of eating and simply being healthy.  All of this has helped me come to the decision of being vegan and how to not feel alone because my roommate or my friends are not vegan.  Some blogs I love are Kath Eats Real Food and Daily Garnish and Oh She Glows and The Edible Perspective and Choosing Raw and Veganasaurus and many more.

AND there are many more but for some reason I can't think of what else.  Have fun with all of those links because they're all amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!(or else I wouldn't have put them in here)

Thursday, March 31, 2011


SO, I've mentioned this in a previous post that I was thinking of going Vegan.  For no other reason but to try it and for the health benefits and the expansion to my ever growing culinary mind.  Many of you know that I get/constantly have headaches or migraines and they've gotten significantly worse after doctor's visits and a couple different meds and such and nothing is helping.  I would take 3 excedrine every four hours, and I'm guessing my liver and kidneys cried every time I did that.  WELL I, not realizing what I was doing, was cutting back on my dairy intake and trying to continue on my path of eating healthy and I (while talking with a friend one day) realized that it was dairy that was causing my headaches and the cut back on dairy was coinciding with my lack of headaches.  SOOOOOOO....................(long drawn out pause to keep your interests peaked).............. I'm going vegan.  As of May 1, 2011 I want to be completely vegan.  I have done my research, and cutting out dairy is going to be the hardest part but I'd rather be headache free than eat my beloved block of cheese.  I already verge on vegan and the one thing that was holding me back was cheese, I love cheese.  I'm not saying I might slip, because that would be a lie but I'm more interested in being healthy, headache free and a happier Meredith than some silly label.  I'm also interested in the ethical aspect of being vegan, I'm not going to pour red paint on people who wear fur but I love animals so it all kinda fits together!  AND I don't discredit or think less of anyone who eats/doesn't eat meat, coming from someone who has been all of the labels(vegetarian, meat eater, etc.) its a personal preference and this is mine.  Questions/comments/concerns, throw them my way!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I really love my co-workers

Funny conversations between Me and a co-worker this morning

Meredith: JBeiber called, he wants you to stop hatin' on him and embrace the loooooooooove!
Anyway, are you having problems getting into the system?

Co-worker: Oh yeah?? Well 2011 called and wanted to remind you that YOU'RE IN YOUR 20'S!!!!!!

Meredith: BAAAAAAA,(that would be, gasp, almost late twenties)

Co-worker: dude...don't even go there with me.
I turn 30 this year.

and no, I got in fine, but other people were having trouble.

Yeah, pure awesomeness!!!!!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Today's Top 10

With having an iTunes account and an iPod since 2004, I have a pretty extensive music collection.  BUT there are some songs that I skip ahead, hoping that my iPod will randomly choose to play it.  That being said, today's Top 10 list consists of the songs I could listen to over and over and over and over again on repeat and the songs that I skip ahead hoping to land on:

1.Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden, and that link you just clicked on is my FAVORITE way to hear it.  I can't help but laugh until I cry.  Can't explain it, its just awesome.  AND Savage Garden is my all-time fave band.  I could listen to both of their albums on repeat, which I do in my car.
2.Nothing Fancy by Dave Barnes I love this song because sometimes words fail and sometimes words seem to not be enough to express how I feel so I try to say what I mean with the utmost sincerity, especially to those whom I love.
3.The Wind Beneath My Wings sung by Bette Midler It reminds me of my mom, she loved Bette Midler and we used to love to watch Beaches.  I actually sung the song at a concert in High School, by myself, for my mom who couldn't be there because she was sick.
4.Holes in the Floor of Heaven by Steve Warriner  It was played at my mom's funeral and most days I listen to it and smile.  I also listen to it if I need a good hearty cry.
5.I'm Yours by Jason Mraz  Its fun and light-hearted.  Some of my sorority sisters and I road-tripped from Truman to UNI for one of his concerts, my freshman year of college. One of the best road-trips ever.
6.You're Beautiful by Phil Whickam We sang this song, in church, on the 10 year anniversary of the day my mom died.  I cried when we got to the last verse, bawled my eyes out.  I loved this song before that day but I love it even more.  Listen to the last verse and you'll understand why.
7.I'll be There for You by Bon Jovi  It needs to be played exceedingly LOUD and with a hairbrush in hand as do all Bon Jovi songs but I like this one the best.  Yep, its awesome!
8.Crash and Burn by Savage Garden I'm going to express my great love for this band again.  When I started running in 2001, all I had were the songs in my head until I thought running to music would be good.  My first running CD was Savage Garden's Affirmation.  Still awesome a decade later.  This song was at the end of the CD when I was almost done with my run and it was wonderful.  love LOVE love LOVE them.
9.Affirmation by Savage Garden (see #1 and #8 for reasons why I love this band)  This was the first song on my running CD.  My fave line(and being in high school I truly needed this with all the pettiness) "I believe your most attractive features are your heart and soul".
10.Cruel to be Kind by Letters to Cleo  Yes, I'm reverting back to my high school self but I love this song and every time it comes on, I'll replay it.

So there you have it ladies and gents.  I have way more faves and top played songs but these are the ones off the top of my head which makes them my ultimate top 10 songs from my 3500+ iTunes list.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Could Name EVERY Blogpost "Random" and it Would be True. Every. Time.

I was reading something the other day and I realized that I am a "perfect" "all or nothin" type person.  What I mean by that is that if I do something I have to do it perfectly and I have to do ALL of it or I won't do it.  Case in point: right now I can't run a marathon so I'm not going to work out at all or I'm not the most "Biblicly" well read person so it doesn't matter if I read my Bible or not.  THIS is what is constantly in my head about a lot of things.  BUT on the other side of the coin(yes, my brain likes to play devil's advocate a lot) for example, cooking.  I am continually cooking aka practicing for the day that (prayerfully and hopefully) I can open the doors of my own restaurant/bakery/coffee shop (any one or all of them would be fantastic). For some reason my head can wrap itself around the fact that owning my own business is a journey and not just a one-time shot in the pan but it can't do that with training for a marathon or being more knowledgeable about the Bible and God's word.  So, you may be wondering where this is all going.  I have figured out the solution: every single moment, of every single day I am going to strive to be faithful in the small things.  I will:
1. Get up when my alarm goes off and TRY not to hit the snooze so I can
2. Get things done and taken care of and ready so I can walk to work which will
3. Give me a good 25-30 minutes of walk time to pray which helps me
4. Be more God-minded throughout my day and also reminds me that
5. I need to read my Bible, whether it be at work during lunch or when I get home helping me
6. Realize that its about the journey, and that's what matters to me.

SO, that's what has been on my mind lately, along with a massive multi-week migraine that needs to take a long walk off of a short pier!!!!!!!!!!!!! BUT I have been remembering to take more pictures since I got a camera for Christmas.  BUT have yet to download them so here are some from my phone of some random things that have been happening.

I got to watch this little bundle of adorableness this weekend.  Cutest.  Kid. EVER.  Of course I'm super biased since I've known his mom since almost his age AND I was the first person to hold him after he was born(other than his mom and dad of course, I'm not crazy/obsessive)!!!!  I think he's great and who can't love that face!!!!


Yeah, I made that.  I actually took some really good pictures of the process I went through to make it and hey, I might even get them up on here to share.  It's actually pretty easy and it looks pretty too!!!!  Yep, I think I have some skills.  Well, that's my bit-o-random for now!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

These are a few of my FAVORITE THINGS!!!

Everyone has them, heck, Julie Andrews even sang an entire song about them.  They are your favorite things.  They can be your favorite things for a reason, a season or a lifetime so here is my current list.  Just a fun little shapshot of the things that make me smile.

1. The Book of Lamentations- It's in the old Testament and I usually read the Old Testament and get very little out of it but I really enjoyed reading this and got a lot out of it and found myself daily reflecting on what I had read in it.  My fave verses are: 
Lamentations 3: 22-26  
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, 
   for his compassions never fail. 
23 They are new every morning; 
   great is your faithfulness. 
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; 
   therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
   to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly 

I have a lot of patience for people but when it comes to my own life, my patience run very thin- to the point of being non-existent.  The last verse cuts me like a knife, but in a totally awesome way.  (I totally recommend checking it out)

2. Who would have ever guessed it: STARBUCKS
AND right now my favorite drinks there, are
 Caramel Macchiato
The Caramel Macciato- I drink it iced in the summer, hot in the winter and I order a Skinny Venti with 4 shots.  I even eat the icecream that they make.  What can I say, I like this A LOT!!!
Skinny Latte
The Skinny Cinnamon Dulce Latte- Venti Quad shot.  I only drink it hot and when the Pumpkin spice lattes have run dry.  It is equally as good as a Pumpkin Spice Latte but alas my heart lies with Pumpkin for our 4 month affair!

3. Bronze Goddess Perfume by  Estee Lauder

My mom always, ALWAYS wore Estee Lauder perfume, she had an entire dresser top full of different fragrances but all by the same designer.  I love all of them but not for me particularly, but because they remind me of her.  BUT when I smell this one a few years back, I was in love and have been an Estee Purist since then.  It only comes out in March and is available through August so I have to pace myself and my stash of it.  One year I ran out mid-February and it was a rough couple of weeks. I feel naked without perfume.

4. Homemade Protein Powder found at  The Daily Garnish
It's 100% vegan and gluten free AND the best part is that I know EVERYTHING that went into it and I know that I love it and I can adjust the flavor components easily if I want a taste of something different.  The initial cost was almost equal to that of a huge tub of some other protein powders that I wasn't sure if I wanted to invest that much money and not like it.  With this I made a small batch and have enough to make at least two more from the main ingredients and multiple  more batches from the other ingredients. I ordered all of the ingredients except for PB2 at ............................

5. NutsOnline  I think I've wasted, ahem, spent too much time on this website but how could you NOT.  I have a shopping cart going again, the running total right now is just over $100 but I've been put on restrictions to NOT buy anything until after the move.  It's like a foodie's dream in a town like Des Moines where you can find some, but not all of the specialty things that I am looking for like Hemp Protein, Maca Powder, Spirulina and Chlorella.  In my current basket I have Sweet Potato Butter(OMG YUM!!!!), dried gooseberries(for my dad, he loves gooseberry pie), banana peanut butter(HEAVEN!!!!), Matcha Green Tea Powder, Coconut Oil, Raw cashews, pine nuts, etc.  They are all in 1 pound bags but you can buy larger quantities than that but the smallest you can get is one pound.  AND they are all a pretty good price, there is no price for being able to buy all of that in one place too.  AND an added bonus, they shipped my order literally 20 minutes after I hit the order button and they send fun emails like "You're nuts are on their way" or "Hey I heard your nuts just arrive".  Totally fun!

6. MORE COFFEE - Jitters Coffee Bar in Mason City, IA.  One of the few things that my sister misses about living there, but it is SO worth missing AND going back for, which is easy because my dad and Nadine lives a hop, skip and a jump away so its a great treat when I visit.

As posted previously, I LOVE my Starbucks and I'll stay ever so true to the Pumpkin Spice Latte because I've tried them all and Starbucks just knows how to do it.......................Until I had Jitters.  I almost bought two at once so the wonderfulness would last longer.  A) their coffee is wonderful and B)it made the latte even better than wonderful!!!!!   Their "brewed" coffee is done by the cup, per order on this contraption that looks like some sort of medieval torture device.  SO if you're ever in Northern Iowa or if you're car gets stuck and they close the interstate and they have a towing ban on(yeah it totally happens) tell the nice people who come get you out of your car, tell them to take you here for some nice hot coffee at Jitters, its a small town, they'll know where to take you.  It will be so worth it!

SVRS HomeI find so much joy and blessings in my job on a regular basis. From other people just simply loving their job and making sure they do the absolute best they can to random chats with my co-workers in the kitchen.  I can honestly say that I wake up each morning excited to go to work and when I had a three day weekend I was itching to go back on Tuesday.  It just doesn't seem like "work" when you enjoy it!

8. Le Creuset
6 Piece Classic Set
I have actually purchased a piece of this(the grill pan to be exact) for my sister's birthday last April BUT I have yet to purchase any for myself.  As a true foodie who absolutely loves to cook, I feel like the French Oven(at least) is a necessary piece to my kitchen, just like my KitchenAid stand mixer.  (When I move there will actually be 2 in our household, one that used to be my mom's and one that used to be my aunt's.)

9.This set of mixing bowls had to sit under the Christmas tree for a month and now have been sitting in a moving box for the last three weeks and I'm getting super antsy to get them unpacked and use and abuse them to their fullest potential!

10. Lavender, anything that smells like or has the word lavender in it, I'll buy it.  I can't get enough of that smell.  Not the frilly fake manufactured smell but the true pure lavender smell.  I.  will.  melt.  when I smell it.

Well I think that's it for now!  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm an evil genius in the kitchen

I've been told that I'm an evil genius in the kitchen.  The only training I've had is years and years of watching my mom cook(before she passed away) and years and years of a very deep rooted love of cooking.  Above is one of my evil masterpieces!  It's a quad-colored(I'm guessing you know its four layered if it's "quad".  I'm giving you all more credit than the multiple Starbucks employees who have a hard time processing the fact that I want a quad, WHICH MEANS FOUR, shot latte.  But I digress) velvet cake with cream cheese icing and don't for a second think I used a box or a can or that the cake is anything less than Meredith Home-made.  It was freaking good too!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Silence is Golden, so I am not

I'm breaking my Blog silence, I guess it's been a busy couple of months.  The Holiday whirlwind of travel/ massive amount of food/time off/shopping/getting the flu, needless to say it has been busy.  Bonus: I got a new camera for Christmas so hopefully there will be more pictures on the Blog, and hopefully I can add some of my older pictures to My Journey to add to the effect!  Some more exciting news: I'm moving! My sister and I are moving back in together into a condo in West Des Moines, just a short jaunt away from my office which is FABULOUS!!!!  I plan on a lot of walks to work!  I'm excited.  Its a three bedroom condo, so plenty of room for guests and family visits.  Although some concerns have been voiced about Meg and I moving back in together, I have prayed about it and I wholeheartedly believe this is a good and positive move for all of us.  I got to see the actual condo last night and I almost peed my pants(good thing the floors are hardwood-easy cleaning:)) It's not extravagant but its exactly what Meg and I were looking for when we were looking to move from the south side apartment together. I have one thing to say: thank goodness its going to be painted, the person who lived there previously must have been color blind, holy cow!  We will be moving the weekend of January 29th and I am super excited, if you couldn't tell!  Well, I guess my life isn't that exciting because that's all I can think of!  I'm excited for 2011, 2010 was awesome and I was blessed far beyond my wildest imagination.  Some recaps of my many blessings:
1. NEW JOB in May!!!!! and a fabulous job it is, I might add.  Every single day I find multiple things to be blessed with and the continued realization that my co-workers are beyond excellent!
2. I moved into a house and OUT of the south side apartment in March
3. Moving again!  (Yes back to an apartment but its a really really good one!)
4. Fantastic co-workers
5. Wonderful friends
6. Phenomenal family
7.Being continuously humbled by the response from my writing
8. NEW CAR!!!!!!!!!! While it was forced upon me but more than one mechanic, I did buy my SECOND car.  Its a nod to the original one, and it has been a weird/emotional transition but I love my new car and wouldn't have loved anything else except that specific one.
9. Business travel.  I loved my trip to Salt Lake City and I'm going back in May 2011 which makes me happy!  It's super pretty and so clean, highly recommended if you're looking for a cool vacay destination.
10.  God's grace, patience, and most importantly my salvation from Him.

There's so much more, and I remember telling Meg on New Years Day 2010 as we drove around Downtown Des Moines, that 2009 kinda sucked but I thought that 2010 was going to be a better year and it was.  It really was.  More than I had hoped/wished/prayed/dreamed, so here's to an even better 2011!!!!!